Recruiting for a Company That Is About to Collapse

I used to work at a well-known retailer for a year and a half and before moving on to my current role. I accepted the position with a lot of self-talk. I told myself, “Okay, Danyel, you know the company is suffering,” and “you know you could be laid off tomorrow,” and “you don’t know what the culture will be like.”  I had a lot of questions and no answers in sight. I also asked for guidance from a few friends that used to work at this retailer and the words of advice were not too kind. With all this information at hand, I had to decide for myself. I decided to go for it. I’m certainly what they call a “risk taker.”

Now, I’m here and taking everything in and you know it’s not so bad. Things were moving along slowly, but surely. I started to get acclimated to the culture and figure out my path in this new journey. I eventually joined several of our employee resource groups to keep me motivated and networking throughout the company. I even picked up two mentees who were very young and wanted to learn and grow in what we call “corporate America.” When you think about motivation, I was trying to do any and everything to break up the monotony of everyday recruiting and be active in the space I was in. I thought, yes, this is working. I’m good to go!

Then, the bottom fell out just a few months into my role. There were layoffs, a lot of layoffs (including my manager), the morale was on the decline and people started to show their true colors. I didn’t like it, not one bit and I was on the brink of falling into the black hole of doubt and frustration.

“Get it together, Danyel! You need this job to support your family.” But what was I supposed to do?

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I started to turn my focus to the business unit that I supported. I was going to give them my all and do the work that I know how to do. I’m an overachiever, so this was very important to me. Although I was losing the motivation battle, I couldn’t let them see me sweat. I used to own my own business, and I had “clients” so I started to shift my focus to the “client” mentality. The business unit and I had weekly meetings, laughed and giggled about the craziness of our day. We showed genuine appreciation for each other’s expertise. This was motivation and all that I needed to keep pushing my little engine that could. I started to get back active in the resource groups, scheduling meetings with my mentees and just getting back to me.

The moral of the story is when you are recruiting for a company that’s on a downward spiral you must find that motivation and drive from other places in or outside of your organization. This energy will transfer to the candidates you are speaking with every day. Take time for yourself and don’t let the corporate hustle and bustle ruin your mojo. You are great at what you do, and that needs to shine through on the other end of the phone. Candidates can sense things are right and will flee the coupe. Motivation and energy will keep you from losing your mind.

Danyel has been in talent acquisition for over 15 years with a career in both agency and corporate settings. She has recruited and managed positions from diesel technicians to merchants to executive to marketing gurus. Danyel enjoys learning, mentoring, motivating and educating in all facets. She’s currently in a senior recruiting position at a well-known insurance company.

Danyel has a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management and currently pursuing her 2nd Master’s in Project Management.

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