Did you close the loop?
We are in the business of people—and all people like to get closure.
Each one of us has been a candidate at some point in our professional careers. Having been on both sides of the loop, the one common habit that makes a consultant stand apart from the rest is the communication technique and cadence they practice with the candidate. Simply put, as a candidate, you will always remember a consultant who got back to you with feedback as much as you will remember the one who did not.
Why is it important to revert and close something that was initiated, especially in our industry?
We are in the profession of people, and we must focus on the people we interact with. While there is no fixed data that can define the clear distinction between a long-term versus a transactional relationship, your perception as a consultant may get altered depending on the relationship you build with the candidate. It is imperative that as consultants, we revert to the candidates who engage with us in the hope of a better professional future for themselves.
However, ensuring you do close the loop pushes a positive agenda to the forefront—whether you are responding to a client or a candidate. I remember when I once wrote to the India CEO of a large professional services firm about a vacancy. It was a long shot but the executive responded with a very polite and nicely worded email. Now, it may have been the CEO that responded or the team under him, but the point is, he and his team took time to review my profile and respond. Many years later, it still feels good to have been acknowledged.
And this may not be restricted to just the people industry. If I were to draw parallels to this from my earlier avatar as a private banker, i aimed to push my team to step out of the office and service the customer. You need to show your customers that you care and will respond to their every need. Once accustomed to your positive and helpful nature, the customer will more likely than not respond to your needs with as much attentiveness—if not more. Such measures resulted in a big upward trend in the investments we secured over the phone.
In conclusion, it is vital that we practice closing the loop so the individual at the other end of the line feels positive about you and your firm. It is not the words that people remember. If you really think about it, as human beings we tend to make decisions based on how a person or a firm makes us feel. As the harbingers of the people industry, let us move toward building relationships that are honest and upfront, and give feedback, if necessary even in the event of a rejection. No one expects the other to succeed at each interaction, but closing the loop each time builds worthiness with the candidates. That is how simple it really is.