Everyone’s got one, and a lot of people know what it feels like to stand in line at the coffee shop and be handed something that has the wrong name or a grossly misspelt version of the right name on it.
In this scenario, it can often feel slightly funny and you don’t begrudge the Barista for getting it wrong when its coffee-rush-hour and there’s a queue 15 people deep behind you. You give a chuckle and possibly go about your day with a little smile on your face. That’s how I reacted when I got handed a cup with Natalie written on it this morning – definitely not the name I’d given, and I checked, definitely my coffee – I even called my Mum and had a chuckle about it.
But this got me thinking, how would I react if my Director called me Natalie, or was talking to me and said: “Sorry, what’s your name again…”? It definitely wouldn’t cause a coffee shop reaction…
Actually, it would make me feel pretty worthless.
Names are important – really important. Getting someone’s name right shows a level of care and attention to detail. Getting someone’s name wrong, in an email, over the phone, in person, at an interview. It demonstrates a lack of care, suggests a lack of value, and alongside these establishes a general level of disinterest and disrespect.
If you’re working in Recruitment, as a Recruitment Consultant, a Hiring Manager, in any capacity – even if you are the person scheduling interviews, names are even more important.
Something that I am always impressed by, is how well our Consultants at Bloom manage names, and the importance they place in them.
They answer the phones and know exactly who it is and how to pronounce their name (they only ask how to pronounce a name once). They take pride in knowing exactly who their candidates are. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for me to hear conversations that run something like this…
Consultant A - “Hey, you know that Consultant you placed in Role X at Company Y? He’s a Scrum Master, right?”
Consultant B - “John Smith. Yeah, he is. Why…”
Knowing your candidate extends further than just their name, and further than the ‘professional’. The consultant who sits next to me is fantastic at remembering personal information that a Candidate has mentioned in passing. For example, asking how the Candidate’s weekend in Brighton was, or checking how a toothache that’s been bothering them has been.
Attention to the person is crucial. Its why candidates come back and use Bloom again, rather than going to a different REC company. It’s one of the reasons Clients choose to work with us, one of our differentiators to other REC companies (alongside the size of our Network), is the strength of our Candidate-Consultant relationships and how we value the ‘Person’ throughout the Candidate Journey. Our Consultants recognise that they represent not only Bloom as a brand but also the brand of every one of our Clients whilst managing their Candidates.
The detail is important. Take care, show interest and respect, and pay attention to the little things. Getting a name right is one of the easiest ways to do this. Show that you care about who they are, and about the interaction you’re having with them.
Shakespeare had a point when he had Juliette say, “A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”. It didn’t matter that Romeo’s last name was Montague, or where he came from… But she wasn’t going to go around calling him Mercutio or writing letters to him and mixing his name up with Paris’.