Mimi Gross, Founder and Cybersecurity Matchmaker at People By Mimi, connects early stage through Series C cybersecurity startups with sales and marketing talent. As a recruiter and headhunter with over 5 years of experience, Mimi refers to the process of recruiting and hiring as “cybersecurity matchmaking.” Mimi joins Hacker Valley Studio this week to talk about what recruiting and dating have in common (including marriage!), and the ways to deal with rejection during the hiring process.
[00:00] Defining the term “cybersecurity matchmaking” as a recruiter
[04:00] Commonalities between recruiting and dating advice
[07:55] Dealing with job rejection like a bad breakup
[15:17] Balancing hiring manager wants and needs in the recruitment process
[20:11] Emphasizing chemistry between the ideal candidate and their future employer
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Where did the term “cybersecurity matchmaking” come from?
There’s a huge element of matchmaking in recruiting. That’s essentially what you’re doing — you’re matching a potential candidate with a potential new position. Certain recruiters and companies instead treat the act of recruiting candidates and hiring new employees like a sales transaction. This feels impersonal for everyone involved. Referring to recruiting as “matchmaking” reminds everyone involved that there are humans in the process at every stage, from application to references, interviews to onboarding. “Early on, I was disillusioned with recruiting, because I realized that people don't treat it like finding the perfect match. It's like sales for some people. I quickly said, ‘I can't do this thing unless I can call it matchmaking.’ That's where the term came in.” What does dating advice have to do with recruiting?
In both recruiting and dating, you’re trying to find the “right” fit. In dating, both people in a relationship are looking for “the one”; someone to grow with long term and to build a mutually beneficial relationship with. In recruiting, the founder or hiring manager is looking for the right candidate for the role, while the job searcher is looking for the right job for their career. In both dating and recruiting, when you find the right one, it won’t be a huge compromise or a challenging fit; the relationship will feel authentic and natural. “I find that the best matches I make — and I love to call them matches, because they really are — I look back at them, like, ‘You know, that was a good match.’ In those great matches, the chemistry was there right away.”
How do you help candidates deal with rejection?
Rejection is part of the recruiting process, just like how breaking up is part of the dating cycle. There are going to be times when the fit isn’t right and the job you want goes to a different candidate. The trick is to not take it personally. Instead, take a learning approach to the situation. The company might need to go in a different direction, or someone else in the organization may be taking over the position. Unlike dating, the hiring process is unrelated to who you are as a person. Focus on learning and applying your experience elsewhere.
“It’s not just about not taking rejection personally. You have to see that there will be the right fit for you, and that also, the person who is rejecting you now could be a valuable person to know in the future. Never burn bridges.”
What is one of the most important aspects in recruiting?
Chemistry is key in the recruiting process. You may have a company executive or a hiring manager who wants a specific trait from their applicants, like an Ivy League education. As a recruiter, you have to dig beneath the surface to discover the “why” behind a job qualification or educational requirement. Perhaps the employer actually wants someone organized or detail-oriented. Getting to know the “why” means that you can find the actual right fit, while the chemistry between the job seeker and the hiring executive will take care of the rest. “In the beginning, if you find the right match, the dating metaphor here is that nobody's perfect. You have to figure out what kind of imperfect you can handle and you can love, and that's the right match.”
Spend some time with our guest Mimi Gross on LinkedIn
Learn more about cybersecurity matchmaking on the People By Mimi website
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