How Corporate Recruiting is Bittersweet

As a venture capital recruiter involved in corporate recruiting, I do not receive commission the way I did in my agency days. It was all about the money back then. These days when I make a placement, I can feel proud and sleep well at night knowing my work directly contributed to the future success of a portfolio company. I realize that is the satisfaction I strive for on a regular basis. However, I recently experienced a bittersweet moment.

An expansion stage startup I had been working with needed a management role to be filled. I worked hard to scour that geographic region for top talent. In the end, there were 3 candidates deemed awesome by the CEO. Two of these three candidates were ones I had brought to the table. In the end, the one I did not bring to the table, as luck would have it, was the one made an offer. The CEO had a previous working relationship with this 1st choice candidate and knew first hand what he was capable of accomplishing. Fair enough.

For a moment, it stung and I couldn’t explain why. I wanted to make that placement. Then I took a step back and asked myself, “Was the best candidate offered the job and is this company now positioned better than ever for growth and success?” And the answer is most likely yes. You can only want the best for the person you’re working with and for. I realize that a good recruiter is a ruthlessly competitive one and you define winning by getting that placement. It stings at first, like I said, and sometimes it’s out of your control, but you accept it because that’s life and you can’t win them all.

As long as the best hire was made, you need to take a step back and realize that you can ultimately celebrate. That said, now that this position has been closed out, I need to make the next one mine. Wish me luck.

Victor Mahillon
Victor Mahillon
Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at Kamcord. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.
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