In the quest for career advancement, you’ll encounter many obstacles along the way. Take recruiters, who seem to be pretty hard to impress because of their impossible standards. Although strict robo-recruiters are indeed on the rise, many out there are still human. Once you get to know them you’ll find out that they can be full of refreshing career insights. In this recurring Q&A, we try to fathom what goes on in recruiters’ minds from far and wide. Today Josie speaks to Asli Leone, a digital nomad currently operating from Thailand.
Hi Asli, can you start by telling a little more about your professional background, how did you end up in the world of recruitment?
I’ve been hiring in the creative industry for over 12 years. At the start of my career, I was an executive assistant at a branding agency in New York City and moved to Resource Management where I learned the ropes in recruiting. After that, I became a creative recruiter at a prestigious digital agency, where my career really took off. I now own my own boutique firm and match people to their dream positions.
What kind of recruiter do you consider yourself to be, and what sets you apart from the rest?
I am a human first of all and use the same values I have in my daily life as I do in recruiting. What I like most is building long-lasting relationships with my candidates and clients. When I’m engaged in a search, I respect everyone’s time and effort rather than seeing people as sales targets to hit. I’ve been living/working as a digital nomad and global citizen and have been lucky to be working from different parts of the world. Needless to say, I’m a big advocate of remote work.
What are some common challenges you face when working with a client, and how do you handle these challenges?
I notice I’m challenged when I deal with unresponsive clients, especially when my time and the candidates’ times are not valued. Clear communication is everything, in my opinion. Over the years I have learned to communicate my requirements in advance or right when I encounter obstacles along the way. I fired some clients since they were not able to meet this. My feedback depends on the client’s feedback so when that’s delayed, I’m afraid some replies can fall through the cracks. I try to be as organized as possible to get back to everyone I have started a conversation with, even if I don’t have a response. Unfortunately, sometimes that’s not possible if I have too many people in the mix. I hate being ghosted and ghosting people.
How do you provide feedback to your candidates? What career advice do you give, no matter their credentials?
If the client provides detailed feedback, I try to be as open as possible and give constructive feedback to my candidates so they can better their books, presentations, or interview skills. I tell everyone to be as authentic, humble, and kind as possible during the interview process. Do not try to oversell yourself with higher titles, it won’t work. As for feedback on portfolios, you need to be open. Recruiters see hundreds of books every week and have a better idea of what the client wants and what the status in the job market is for the roles we hire for.
What is your opinion on the status quo in the world of HR and recruitment? Is there anything that needs to change drastically?
Now that most recruiting firms are using automated methods, real human connections tend to get lost. For me personalized outreaches always work, seeing candidates as people, having empathy and an understanding of their situation. It all comes down to remembering that we have all been on the other side, and making a true connection by open communication would be appreciated by everyone involved.
What role could a platform like Josie have towards clients and candidates?
I think Josie sounds like a great idea since most people get rejected automatically without knowing how they can improve their applications to land their desired position. The idea to give these people a head start sounds great to me.
Based on your experience in the industry, what do you think and hope will happen in the next five years?
Robots! Although I hope we’ll never see that happen because it would be a shame if we lose the human connection while efficiently filling roles.