What boxing and recruitment have in common
Last fall, I along with 13 other business women were asked to take part in a unique fundraiser for iDE Canada. We were asked to commit to a 12 week training program, consisting of 3 Days of Fitness Training and 3 Days of Technical Boxing Training per week and while we were at it, we were each asked to raise $5,000. At the end of the 12 weeks, we were then paired up and we competed in a real Manitoba Boxing Association sanctioned Boxing Match in front of a crowd of 300 people - music, lights, and even an official boxing name – Vegas Style! Lisa “Badda Boom” Cefali was in the building!
We were promised one thing: If we commit to the process the ITC (In this Corner) Boxing Trainers roll out, that we WOULD be ready for our bout – the longest 3 minutes of my life, I was told! Fight night arrived and the trainers were right. The bout was hard, exhilarating, challenging, and I was prepared. The journey getting there was just as hard, just as exhilarating and just as challenging!
Yes, they needed my commitment to this event, but the ITC Trainers had a process, step by step, adjusting as they saw me progress with the ultimate goal of having the best outcome within 12 weeks.
Thank goodness for the process! As I reflect back, I am most impressed in the manner within which it was all presented. As you could imagine, 14 Type A personalities, wanting to know as many details as possible, asking continual questions, in order to be best prepared, could be a bit much. I’m surprised the trainers didn’t simply pull their hair out, every time we wanted to know the Why and the How of every little direction they gave us! I am forever grateful that we were given enough information, to become our best selves, but not so many details that would overwhelm us. After all, they didn’t want to scare us that we would then quit! ITC outlined the process and took us through each step – first conditioning, then the basic technical instruction to become familiar with what was required. They then tested our conditioning and finally introduced us to sparring. I recall, naively, how we all wanted to know when we were going to start working in the ring, early on in the process, and realizing later that it did make the most sense to not place us into the ring until the last 4 weeks.
We thought the first 4 weeks were tough! Not even close to the last 4 weeks and what it felt like to be punched, continually, having good days and bad days; having different, unexpected opponents – some you clicked with, and some who were simply, bigger, stronger, and better than you! Oh how, we had to believe in ourselves and our skillset. We had to count on our preparedness of being at the gym 6 days a week, and believing that the process would get us ready for the Big Fight!
When you consider the role of Executive Search and Recruitment process – whether you are the client or the candidate interested in the job, no matter what side you are on the process, you have to believe in the process and each step that is involved and fully participate in it, if you want the best outcome.
At Legacy Bowes we follow a very diligent 12 week process in seeking out top level talent for top level jobs. There are no cutting of corners! We listen first, ensure we have all the requirements the client is looking for, cast our net wide, and then begin searching, and researching, and talking, and searching and researching, and talking again to get us to a short list. We then focus on that shortlist of candidates and take them through a series of interviews and discussion, and assessments and have them answer detailed questions of why and how and why not and what happened, to ensure that this possible career step is
right for the individual. We then ensure they are as prepared as they possibly can be to not only ‘ Get in the Ring ‘ to interview well and have the job offered to them, but be certain that they would ACCEPT the role. We aim to bring forward not just a shortlist of individuals who COULD do the job, but a list of individuals who would all be ranked #1 in doing the job. The Main Event for us after our 12 week process is the successful placement of the right candidate!
If you’re the Human Resource person in this activity, it is equally important to believe in the process and to participate wholeheartedly. I am often surprised at how many Human Resource people simply say, “Ok, so when are you going to show me some resumes?” If my only role to an HR contact is to send resumes, without any further insight, than really you don’t need me. Put an ad up on any website and you can receive resumes. You WANT me to research and filter and tap on the shoulder and check out all the social media feeds and ask so many questions that by the time you see a potential candidate’s name in front of you, you have a complete picture, beyond just the resume, that you are able to move into the Second Interview confidently. I can ask those hard questions and more. I can find out the why behind the gap in a career timeline in numerous ways and do all the due diligence on determining right fit for the role. Then you as an HR person can spend most of your time working with, coaching and developing the employees who already work for your company.
If you are Candidate involved in the Recruitment Process for a role, it is very important to understand that there is a process and it could take longer than you would like. Working with an external recruiter means you too can gain a great deal of information about the company and the role by asking many, many questions. Participating in the assessments, questionnaires and interviews with us is the best way to prepare you to be in front of the client. This is your chance to see if the fit is there! This is the time to provide all the details of why you are looking for change and what you need to make that change. As an outside recruiter, we can obtain information for you that does not have to be left as an awkward question within an interview. Ultimately, the goal for you is to get the right job. If you are not brought forward, even with all the time and effort you have spent with us, you should not be disappointed. We want to make sure the fit is there, as well. If you get through the initial stages of the process, and are brought forward to meet the client, we can then prepare you for the interview. We are part of the process and we are there for a successful outcome for everyone. We don’t want to throw you into the ring without being ready! As frustrating as it may feel to have to be interviewed prior to meeting the client, there is a reason for it. (Much like there was a reason, so I was told, for the countless burpees, chin ups, and fitness
tests conducted in getting us ready for our boxing match!)
As we look forward, the next 7 years will bring a great deal of retirements and subsequently jobs to be filled and jobs to be had. Perhaps it may be where there will be more jobs than people available to fill them. That being said, the importance of having a process, and following a process, to navigate the sea of countless individuals and countless opportunities will be even greater than in the past! Companies cannot afford to simply fill roles out of desperation to have their vacancy rate at zero. Individuals can’t afford to accept jobs that are not of the best fit for them.
On the day of my boxing match, I was prepared. I had spent the time, I had asked the questions, I had mentally and physically prepared for the fight. I followed the process ITC suggested and I was coached well. Did I win? No, but I only lost in the 3rd round. There I was entering the round knowing I was doing well, and as I pummelled her against the ropes, I felt confident I had earned enough points. At that moment, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, that her two sons were watching and the look of surprise on their young faces, caused me to back off, and in the end, it cost me the bout - the longest 3 minutes of my life, had come to an end! An unexpected occurrence, yes, and as we all know sometimes those do happen. With most endeavors having a process in place, believing in it and working it diligently, can almost always assure you success. However, simply ‘winging it’ for something as important as a Job Search or a Job Recruitment will quite possibly get you a Knock Out – and not in a good way!