Last year, I met an HR candidate at our offices. She told me that her company was moving the HR department to Singapore, she loved the company and the culture that she had been a part of for the last 4 and a half years but was distraught about this move.

Moving wasn’t an option for her, she had house and family (2 kids) in Tokyo. She had 3 months to find a job.

First, I listened.

She spoke about the type of role that she wanted, the type of people she wanted to work with and the things she wanted to achieve in the organization.

The candidate had 15 years’ experience in HR, hadn’t moved companies a lot within that time and was unsure about her next step.

I learned about her priorities.

Most importantly, she wanted an international environment to thrive in and use her English, a small to mid-size company where she could reach all the employees, work life balance was very important for her and her family and a modest salary bump would be nice.

I asked her to tell me about her strengths and experiences.

The candidate had covered most of the facets of HR-learning and Development, recruitment, Strategy, being a valued business partner, and even part of building a HR framework from scratch but more recently was involved with an important merger.

It was clear to me that the candidate was someone very experienced in HR matters, she had led a team, and was someone who was clearly driven and knew what she wanted.

I presented 3 companies to her, as potential opportunities as close to the specific requirements that she wanted. She felt that one of the opportunities was too focused on recruitment only, so we agreed to drop that one from consideration. She agreed to proceed with the other 2 companies.

I spoke to her in length about each company, we explored the strengths and weaknesses of each organization, so that she could have an accurate idea of what topics to address during the interview process.

Once I had her commitment to the interview process, I explained to her the importance of keeping me informed of the process – not only with these two companies – but with any other interviews she might be having, or anything else that was happening in her life that affected her status as a candidate. She understood and agreed.

Trust works both ways.

She went ahead with the interview process with both companies. Throughout the process I briefed her about the type of people she would be meeting, what to expect from each interview, and because of my relationship with each client she managed to meet the HR team for both companies before making a decision. She was well aware of the issues facing the company, and could prepare in advance her ideas about how she would solve the issues the company was having.

As part of my responsibility, I gave her prompt feedback as soon as I had it from each company.

The feedback from both companies was very positive. They appreciated that the candidate was well-briefed and took a professional, measured approach to the interview process.

Ultimately, the candidate was offered a position at both companies. Both companies had similar culture and the compensation each company offered had a difference of about a million yen. I presented her with the formal written offer from each company, and we discussed in detail the respective contents so that she was well aware of each company was offering.

Which company would she choose?

After a few days, I spoke with her again. She had spoken with her family, and she had made a decision.

She told me that wanted to join the company that she felt the strongest personal connection with. The company that had taken a little more time with the candidate during the interview process, and took extra steps to ensure that she really understood what would be expected of her. They emphasized not only what her responsibilities would be, but mapped out a vision of the future for her at the company.  They answered all her questions and made her feel that the interview was more of a dialogue about helping each other solve problems, as opposed to an interrogation. Despite the fact that the company offered her a slightly lower compensation package, she said that the decision was easy.

I helped her to transition out of her existing company in a way that benefited her, for which she was very grateful.

Her first day went very well, her first week too. The first month had a few challenges, and there were a few small surprises that happened a couple of months in, but she was able to ride through these with confidence, keeping her eye on the longer term. After 6 months she was very happy in her role, and was feeling like she had been with the company for years. Despite some of the challenges at the beginning, she said that she knew deep down that she had made the right decision.

I met the candidate just recently for lunch, 1 year after I had placed her-she is happy, her company is growing and she has now become my client.

She thanked me for getting her this job. I told her that I was happy to help her with an important transition in her life, and was grateful to her for selecting to work with me as her partner.

This is a pretty good example of how the process works, and I thought it would be valuable to share this here.

I hope that this information is helpful.



Scott Morgan