Ellie Dailey is a recruitment specialist and founder of Intro30. She’s here to talk to us about how we shy people can navigate the recruitment process and land our dream jobs!
“I built Intro30 to empower and encourage candidates to be themselves, to be authentic, and to introduce themselves with 30 second videos as part of a professional and shareable profile. Using video goes way beyond a flat resume. It means that you can be open, honest, look the recruiter in the eye, smile and say “Hello!”. It’s an authentic connection!
I’m sure everybody has experienced the recruitment process; it can be very much a question of sending out your resume and never hearing back. And if you do get invited to an interview, it takes time. It’s scheduling, it’s this, it’s that, and it’s often over the phone. This way, you have ownership of the introduction process. You as the candidate can put forward your best first impression. It’s an elevator pitch, it’s like an audition tape where you show or say what are your best characteristics if they want to hire you.
Finding a job is hugely competitive. The average job has hundreds and hundreds of applicants and one person gets the job, one person’s the winner. It’s an exercise in rejection, and it’s really tough, especially for the very popular companies. It’s a numbers game. It’s about being resilient. It’s about being open to applying for many things and expecting not a lot back. That’s why, I recommend people apply for at least a hundred jobs!
When I was working in house recruitment, we would have hundreds of applicants for each job. It’s an overwhelming number of resumes to read! So, the trick, when you’re applying, to really get noticed, to get seen in front of the right person so that you can demonstrate your capabilities is to make sure you’re really targeted about who you speak to. Ensure they’re the ones that make the decisions. Make sure that your CV doesn’t just go to the bottom of an enormous database of hundreds of other applicants. It’s really about demonstrating competence. It’s a competitive world out there!
Empowering quieter people
The good news is that there is a wave of voices rising up against the chest beating that’s out there. Voices like yours, Nadia, like Michelle Obama’s and the Brene Brown’s. It’s like there’s a reaction against all that arrogance. There are voices of reason and voices of competence, empathy, vulnerability, kindness, emotion, and realness, authenticity. The noises, that we hear everywhere shouting, angrily, that has to change. And I’m really encouraged by your voices that are rising. I just want to empower everybody to be seen and heard.
What to look for when applying for a job
People apply for jobs at shiny places because of the brand. I always tell people to be careful. All that glitters isn’t gold. Make sure you’re going to get mentorship, trust, warmth, kindness and empowerment and not crazy targets or you know, a sense that you have to fit in with a toxic culture. When you hear certain buzz words flying around, like “we work hard, play hard,” you know, to me, they smack of toxicity and of environments that aren’t truthful.
There’s a wonderful book called, “It doesn’t have to be crazy at work” by the guys who built Basecamp (https://basecamp.com/books/calm). It’s fantastic. It’s just very normal about being a human and wanting to, you know, go surfing at lunchtime if you want to or you know, just working than the nine to five and then going home and not being reachable and not working crazy hours. There’s a real kind of push against this hyper drive of competition and smashing it and being this sort of superhuman that just isn’t us. It’s going to kill us!
We need to be more compassionate and kinder. My advice to someone if you’re looking for work is to just dig a little deeper into what really motivates you. What are your intrinsic values? What makes you happy? Avoid environments that are going to make you feel uncomfortable every day.
I think a lot of the fear of rejection of fitting in, of making a good impression in the interview stems from not believing in yourself as a really good option for them.
Be aware of how you’re treated during the recruitment process. If you’re treated with disdain, if you get a dismissive email or a kind of rude email one liner, you start to wonder if they treat everyone like that. Yes, everybody’s busy, but there’s no need to be unkind. The minute you see a little red flag of unkindness or, or just something off, pay attention.
The thing to remember is that if anybody treats you badly, it’s on them. And it’s up to us to put ourselves back together again. But ultimately, it’s not our fault. The people that are unkind to us, you know, bully us. It’s really them and what unkindness of violence they’ve seen to, to make them feel that they can treat people like that. When it becomes more and more visible on all levels and that at the highest level of the country that you can talk to people like that, that is what worries me. This is why I stood up. It’s people like us who can stand up against bullying and make a world a safer place.
Organisations and diversity
Well, it’s complicated. I did a talk about this, about Silicon Valley hiring and did some research into the demographics here it’s what’s called an intellectual monoculture. When you have a couple of charismatic leaders who then hire in that image or even hire their friends because there is that element of trust and familiarity. You know, our brains, our amygdala’s do prefer to work in that sort of fight or flight. They will lean towards familiarity and it is natural. But it is now proven in so many ways that diversity creates more wealth, happiness and joy for everybody. The best companies really understand the value of getting the right people in from the beginning. But if your knee jerk reaction is to hire what or who you recognize, it’s going to be difficult. From a candidate’s perspective, that doesn’t help anybody. You know, we can’t turn ourselves into the spitting image of the founder. Which companies are really flying the flag of inclusion? It’s difficult to really see that from the outside. You need to really be in that environment to really understand whether or not they live by their values.
Everyone thrives in different environments. Some people will thrive in some environments that I, you know, I would just cry every day if I went into those places and other people, you know, adore it. But in general, if an environment is safe and inclusive, fun and happy and welcomed you from the beginning, then chances are you’ll feel safe and therefore you’ll be able to therapy to flourish.
Being shy at work
It depends on the culture or the behaviour of the people. For example, in Japan, it is very impolite to speak up unless it is behind the scenes. How you are perceived and how you behave differs in the eye of the beholder and all these different environments. And it’s very hard to have, again, a sort of magic pill. All you can do is really be yourself and accept yourself and accept other people and try and step forward with kindness and compassion.
On enjoying what you do and how it helps being shy and mighty
And I remember so many years in my twenties, sort of physically not wanting to go to work. I would use any excuse to have to go into the office. It was just horrific. And I think you can live your whole life like that, or you can try and be something that you see as being successful. The key is to discover what gives you joy, and a sense of fulfilment and peace and that intrinsic motivation. That’s why I love recruiting. I’m so nosy! I love looking at what motivates people. I love seeing their journeys and how the decisions they’ve made and why they made those decisions.
I met this guy in a shop the other day and he just emanated this joy and he was selling dishwashers and I was just like, “I love your energy! I want to work with you”. He just radiated this enthusiasm about what he was doing and he found joy in it. And it’s just that is so raw and that’s so special. And that’s what we need to cultivate. And then all the fear goes away. All the shyness dissipates. If you feel what you’re doing is right and that it’s great and then it makes you happy and joyful, then you don’t feel the fear. And that I think is key to being happy at work. Finding an environment that works for you. We are moving towards being able to be open and, and safe and free and our true selves at work, which is one thing I’ve really championed.”