In Recruitment, When You Assume, You Increase Your Chance of Losing - Recruiter Interviews Orlando Haynes

By Chamira Gamage

This week, Talentwolf is joined by 3x Published Author, Speaker, Career Growth Advocate, Navy Veteran and Talent Acquisition Manager, Orlando Haynes. Starting off in the armed forces, before embarking on a career in recruitment, Orlando has acquired 15 years of corporate experience both in agency recruitment and some of the largest organisations around. He has built his own brand as a career growth speaker, mentor and writer in the recruitment industry. 

As always, we start off with how you fell or actively got into the recruitment industry! Orlando, what’s your story? 

It all began on a cold winter night; just kidding. In 2002 I was a certified Electronic Technician being presented to a company by a Staffing Agency in New York City. They coached me through the process and actually accompanied me to the interview and debriefed with me afterwards. Long story short, I did not get the technician job but 6 months later the same company called me in for an internal recruiting role. The rest is a 16 year and counting history. 

We know that you are a strong advocate of more conversational interviews over the interrogation style of questioning. How do you recommend recruiters go about this to have more impact in their interviews? 

Great question! I pose this question not only to recruiters but anyone in a position of hiring authority. Some of my personal best interviews were conversations. It starts with the interviewer and positioning the conversation around a ‘get to know you’ model. We can still go through all the fundamental and behavioural-based questioning while creating a welcoming atmosphere. Be personable and vulnerable as the interviewer. Share your story and your ‘why’ with the candidates. Ultimately, candidates are buying into the company and the person they interview with. Give the candidates the opportunity to be relaxed, comfortable, and professional at the same time. 

What’s one piece of career advice you’d go back in time and tell yourself when starting your first job? 

Have more faith, confidence in my talent and God. Write the vision and make it plain. Also, put in the work! 

As a seasoned military veteran in a past life, we’re keen to hear about any crossover between the armed forces and recruitment. What did you learn from your background that helped you in this industry? 

I’ve learned several things that stay with me today. Professionalism, diversity and inclusion, honour, and respect. Acumen, decision making and leadership, poise, discipline, structure and order. All of these are pillars I continue to develop both in my personal and professional life. 

What’s the most satisfying moment of your recruitment career? 

It’s a cliché, but just helping someone land a career that puts food on their table. The other side is seeing them grow and develop. 

As a self-proclaimed fan of Talentwolf, how do you see it playing a role in the future of the recruitment industry? 

I think as the platform continues to evolve it can be used to not only network among recruitment peers domestically and internationally but to centralize and educate job seekers across the globe. We can learn from each other on how to attract top talent.

What’s the main tip you pass onto job seekers, to help them become more sought after in the market? 

Have tremendous clarity in your career goals. Know what you want to do and don’t want to do. Invest in coaching to develop the areas you need the most help. Don’t rest on your laurels and last but not least start thinking and presenting yourself as a brand. 

We all have moments where we learn from mistakes and become far better at our jobs after. Is there any moment in your career that taught you how to be a better recruiter? 

Absolutely! Never assume anything in business. When you assume you increase your chances of losing. My former manager shared this with me right before he promoted me. 

Everyone has a recruitment story. What is the most unexpected thing that happened to you in an interview or client meeting? 

LOL! I can share this now because it happened over 10 years ago. I took a client out to lunch and she was the Director of HR for an international business coaching and consulting company based in Las Vegas, NV. After lunch was over we began walking back to my car and as we got closer she turned towards me and asked if I was married. I smiled in a bit of a shock because I was wearing my wedding ring the entire time but still answered yes. Her follow up was, ‘are you happily married?’. I was extremely flattered but my answer remained the same. The End! 

Connect with Orlando Haynes