By Greg Detter, Senior Vice President, Robert Half
To this day, I can still remember seeing Carl’s* portfolio. Maybe not every single piece in it, but the work in general and the way his talent stood out so differently than pretty much all others I had seen before.
I’d been in creative recruiting for about 18 months and fancied myself a recruiting expert — kind of a laughable concept in hindsight, though I’d seen hundreds of portfolios and resumes and had a pretty fair idea of what was good and what wasn’t. So, seeing something so unique and unlike all the others, combined with a dizzying display of talent, had me downright giddy for the interview.
Carl walked into our downtown office, and within minutes, I was convinced. I loved his humility, natural charm and optimism. He had a smile that told me he had no clue where he was headed, but he was sure it would be great no matter what it was. Carl had been a designer for six years in Latin America, amassing an astounding portfolio of work not typically seen around these parts.
I asked Carl what he wanted to do, feeling a burgeoning sense of excitement about all the clients who may want to see his portfolio. From my seat, the world was his oyster, the sky the limit. But from Carl’s seat, a very different perspective. An award-winning designer in Latin America, what would his experience amount to in the Midwestern United States?
Hitting the road for client interviews, together
While clearly optimistic in general, Carl appeared lost and unsure where to begin and what to say when he got there. And what would they think of his work, which wouldn’t necessarily translate to magazine ads and point-of-purchase displays in the U.S.?
I don’t remember exactly what I told Carl — if it was on my personal brand, it wasn’t nearly as sharp or funny as I probably thought. But I do remember telling him: “Don’t worry. Let me do my job. Not only can I tell my clients things about you that you can’t say about yourself, but I’m excited to do so.”
Less than a fortnight later, Carl was in the passenger seat of my car as I drove him to four separate interviews across the St. Louis area. Sure, not exactly a service I usually provided as a recruiter, but Carl didn’t have a car yet, and in the interest of getting this brilliant talent in front of my clients, I was willing to do whatever it took.
By the time the dust had settled, Carl had multiple offers, ultimately choosing the one he liked the most.
Recruiters are also navigators — and door-openers
So, why am I telling you all this? It’s to highlight one simple fact: You can engage a recruiter not just to help you get a job but also to help provide you direction, expand your experience and get you in front of clients — and, if nothing else, we can say things about you that you simply can’t say about yourself. Our goal is to get you access to clients you likely wouldn’t otherwise meet, and we’ll brag about your skills so you don’t have to.
Every job seeker has their own unique talents, experiences and perspectives to bring to companies. As my first recruiting leader used to say, “There’s a home for everyone.” We’re here to help you find that home. So, if you don’t work with a recruiter, hopefully, you can see some reasons to give it a shot. And if so, why not give Robert Half a shot? We’d love the opportunity to help you find your next role.
Follow Greg Detter on LinkedIn.
*Candidate’s real name has been changed.