Ins & Outs of the Recruiting Process With Abe Chikarwe

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There’s a lot of unknowns when it comes to the recruiting industry, partially due to the fact there are some bad-players in the market, looking for a quick pay-day, regardless of the outcome of their placement. In light of this, who better to talk about the ups and downs of the recruiting process than someone that’s just gone through it?

Introducing Abe Chikarwe, our new National Business Development Manager at the Best Practice Group. Abe is a bright and cheerful family man, married with three children. He’s a man that enjoys his sport, particularly the NRL, where you’ll find him wearing the blue and white jersey of the Canterbury Bulldogs. 

While he possessed the necessary skills and more than adequate industry experience, Abe was looking for a job in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of his years with SAI Global, and enviable experience with risk management, organisations globally had entered damage-control, and hiring new staff was far from a top priority. “No one was hiring,” Abe explained, “no one was looking at investing in anyone.” That was in spite of the fact that Abe had previously worked as a Key Account Manager and Solutions Consultant with more than 23 clients. 

He continued to explain that “when I was looking for a job during the pandemic, it was very difficult. You reach a point where you think to yourself, ‘Okay, I could just do something temporary, I could do something part-time, but am I going to run out of money, can I pay the mortgage at the end of the month?’” he thought. “So many situations run through your mind, but then at the same time, the way the scale works is, do I go for whatever I need to go for, or, do I look at my future- and that’s what I did.” 

The substance of the work, and particularly the organisation that he’d be working for was a key priority for Abe as he searched the market. “There were times during interviews where I thought to myself, Okay, they like me, they’re happy with me, but doing my own due diligence on that organisation allowed me to think, No, that’s not what I want to do. The money could have been great, but the organisation itself wasn’t the right fit, and wouldn’t have allowed me to progress in my career. COVID was bound to end… I didn’t know if it was going to be three months or six, but I knew it was going to end,” so he persevered in the search of a job that would both support his family, but also support his psychological and motivational needs. 

“Some recruiters I’ve spoken to in the last few months promise you the world… and then they disappear.” 

Abe is no stranger to recruiting agencies, having been approached by anywhere between twenty and thirty in the past few months alone. He pulled no punches when it came to his experiences. “I’ve had my fair share of connecting with recruiters. Some of the recruiters I’ve spoken to in the last few months, they promise you the world- and then they disappear.” 

“Honesty is extremely important, especially with everything that is going on. People are scared, and they’re hungry for a job. I know a few people that are still unemployed, and they’re struggling to find a job because a recruiter has told them they’ve got the potential for something, and they set them up for an interview, and they either disappear or don’t care about the outcome,” he said. 

“You’re selling yourself… like I was doing on my Linkedin throughout the whole pandemic.

Some recruiters know that once they get a person in that position, they get paid. They place unnecessary emphasis on getting paid, rather than filling that position with the perfect candidate, and this short-sightedness can, and often does backfire. That’s why BPT has a unique payment model that aims to ensure customer satisfaction with the candidate. ⅓ of the payment is when we sign the initial contract, which essentially engages Best Practice Talent to find talent for you. That includes all advertising costs, PXT assessments and sourcing fees. When we’ve found the right candidate and placed them in your organisation, the second payment is due, and after eight-weeks of that person sitting in that role and performing to a standard that the employer is happy with, the final payment is due. 

“They set them up for an interview, and they either disappear or don’t care about the outcome.”

Abe continued his search, taking it upon himself not to rely on recruiters, and to advertise his skills, experience and expertise on his LinkedIn account in a proactive manner. “You’re selling yourself,” he said, “like I was doing on my Linkedin throughout the whole pandemic. I was out there trying to think of a way to find a job, and knew I needed to advertise myself, and that’s exactly what I did. Best Practice Talent picked up on my ad, so I must have done something well.” Abe was scouted by Kelly John Woods of Best Practice Talent, who initiated the recruiting process with a phone call. 

The interview process saw him meeting with Kelly and B.P founder and CEO, Kobi Simmat virtually, and then in-person. “At first, it was an account management role, where I’d be looking after existing accounts, going out to prospect and doing what I needed to do.” However, as Abe explains, after meeting with Kobi and understanding the company more, “we looked at the bigger picture and thought that there’s bigger clients with potential for growth, and desire for what we – Best Practice – does as an organisation. “After I had my first few conversations with Kelly and Kobi, they asked me to draw up a ninety-day plan, which I think is important. I believe a ninety-day plan gives an employer an indication of what you intend to bring to an organisation, but it also gives you insight on whether or not you’ve got the capabilities for the role; if you can’t deliver on that ninety-day plan, why are you applying for the position in the first place?” 

From here, Abe completed a PXT Select assessment tool, designed to get an intimate understanding of both the potential candidate, as well as the hiring manager. “I found it to be freaky, scary and interesting,” Abe said, adding that “it also gave me insight into myself, and gave Kobi and Kelly proof that I was fit for the position. If you want to find out whether someone will be a cultural or organisational fit, before you hire them- have them do a PXT test.” Abe said that the report was equal parts interesting and intimidating because while it mattered what he saw in the report, “I think it mattered more what they [Kobi and Kelly] were going to take away from my results… I thought it all looked good, but wondered how they’d be looking at it,” Abe said. 

Best Practice Talent looks at the requirements of the organisation, and lines up an applicant with that skills set. We’ve seen other recruiters try to fit a square into a circle, in the hope the candidate will fit in. We believe this isn’t the right approach, that’s why we utilise the latest PXT Select psychometric testing to ensure there’s perfect alignment of an applicant’s skills and the organisation’s needs.

Abe did indeed tick the right boxes on his PXT assessment, because shortly after, he was the star of a personalised induction process that lasted around two weeks. “It was a 10-out-of-10 experience,” he said, adding that in his first week he was “given an agenda of what I had to do, where I had to go, who I had to speak with, and who the key stakeholders were.” He said that he was never told to “go figure it out on your own,” and had ample time to understand how the organisation was structured, and how his efforts would contribute to business-as-usual.  

“If you’re looking for structure,” Abe says, “or an organisation with a certain formula and end-to-end process that will assist you and remove the burden and load of you having to hire someone, whether it’s a CEO, engineer, sales or receptionist, Best Practice Talent is more than capable,” he said. “If you’re looking for someone to do the hard work for you, to make life easier for you and without having to lift a finger other than signing on the dotted line saying you’ve hired someone, Best Practice Talent is the recruiter to work with,” Abe concluded. 

Get in touch with Kelly or Jo at Best Practice Talent for a free consultation on where your current hiring strategy is winning and where it may be improved.

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