As consumers, the best purchases we make are often those we spend the most time contemplating. If we learn about the features of different models, keep an eye on price points at physical and virtual locations, and track market changes (such as new product launches in the near future), we’re less likely to feel buyer’s remorse. We can rest easy, knowing that our decision was made with care and deliberation.

As professionals, the same principle (more or less) holds true. From a recruiter’s perspective, it’s never wise to snap up a candidate without gathering as much meaningful information as possible. You want real insight into the candidate’s skills, career goals and personality. This helps you assess their potential for growth within the organisation.

From a candidate’s perspective, jumping into a role without making a strong effort to understand the company is equally misguided. The candidate should get to know the company’s culture, and values, its management, its long-term vision—and only then make a decision. Certain circumstances, such as a weak job market or recent outplacement from another company, make it tempting for candidates to lower the threshold and grab hold of an offer without being sure. Like any impulse buy, this may provide a comforting and momentary rush, but the long-term implications will soon sink in. Both candidate and company are left with a “product” that doesn’t convincingly meet their needs. The heightened sense of growth and possibility fades, and focus turns instead to the possible negative outcomes of the decision.

Such experiences may be difficult for professionals and recruiters to swallow, but they are valuable. They show us first-hand the importance of research and due diligence when it comes to finding a professional match.

Doing your research/ due diligence

What many people don’t realise is that research and due diligence don’t have to be limited to a concentrated period of activity. It can develop organically over time, through ongoing networking efforts and business relationships. In fact, one of the most ideal recruitment scenarios of all is when a long-standing professional relationship evolves into a unique recruitment opportunity.

Let’s say, for example, that a consultant helps a company find and hire a new executive. After the hire, the executive continues to work with the consultant in the course of their new role. Throughout this ongoing relationship, each gets to know the other’s thinking processes, work style, professional goals and so on.

A great many years later, the recruitment consultancy seeks a new team member. Meanwhile, the aforementioned executive is considering a career move. The subject comes up in the course of normal conversation, and continues to surface. The recruitment process unfolds naturally. Before long, the hire has been made and the two professionals are working on the same team.

The universal power of relationships and networking

We’ve published many blogs around networking skills, completing due diligence on both sides during the recruitment process, searching for exactly the right job. We’ve worked with companies and individuals where this hasn’t occurred, resulting in great unhappiness and ultimate disaster. In other words, buyer remorse ruled the day!

The main lesson to be taken from this? Recruitment, in a sense, is always taking place. Even if a firm isn’t currently hiring, or an individual isn’t currently seeking a job, the process of matching talent with opportunity is constantly unfolding through networks and long-term relationships.

That’s why such relationships are so important in business: They often develop in ways we can’t foresee. As long as we keep our eyes and minds open, and (to return to our consumer-product analogy) continuously scan the marketplace of talent and opportunity, we can avoid the kind of scrambling, hasty decisions that lead to “buyer’s remorse.” Instead, we arrive at our decisions holistically, logically and with greater confidence.

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