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EP 29: Khurram Muhammad, Senior Manager of Recruitment at Maisonette

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  

Hello and welcome to Talent Acquisition Trends and Strategy. I'm your host James Mackey and today we are joined by Khurram Muhammad. Khurram, welcome to the show!


Khurram Muhammad  0:19  

Yes, appreciate it, James.  I appreciate you inviting me today.


James Mackey  0:24  

Thank you for joining us. And would you mind just sharing a little bit about your background experience so everybody knows your point of impact?


Khurram Muhammad  0:31  

Yes, definitely. I'll give you a quick elevator pitch. So my name is Khurram Muhammad, based out of New Jersey. I've been in talent acquisition for maybe, but I lose track of time, as time goes along, probably about eight, or nine years now, really grew up in the industry. Starting on the agency side of the business, working in recruitment agencies for a good couple of years running the foundation of sales, laying the foundation of recruitment, candidate acquisition, business development, and client relationships. 


From there kind of made my way up and transitioned over to the startup environment, being with Vettery for a bit, which is a hiring platform, and eventually having my first step into in-house talent acquisition recruitment, working for a healthcare startup called Pager, which was my first in house recruitment experience to kind of get a good feel of the other side of the world. 


And transitioning to where I am now, Maisonette, which is a luxury brand e-commerce startup that I've been with for almost a year and a half now. And I've been around the block for a minute, seeing a lot of experiences, but loving it every day. 


James Mackey  1:37  

That's great. So right now your company is in the E-commerce space, right?


Khurram Muhammad  1:42  

Yep. So I'll give you a little bit of an overview of what Maisonette does. So we are a luxury brand e-commerce startup that caters specifically to children's clothing and accessories. So essentially, what we're looking to do is to become the one-stop shop for everything a family might need for their young children.  So essentially, we have all different categories of the lifecycle of a child. So think about toys, apparel, clothes, everything kind across the board within different categories. And that's what we focus on here as a business to really create an easier way for a parent to raise their child. 


The business is really, really cool, based in New York City. And we work with dropship vendors as well. But also what makes our business unique, is that we don't have any bricks and borders, we're all online, all e-commerce. So we work with dropship vendors, and we have our private label brands within the business as well.


James Mackey  2:41  

What are you seeing right now in e-commerce? Because I think that's a really interesting insight to share, as I think it has bigger implications on macroeconomics and what we're seeing right now in the economy. Are you seeing spending kind of decrease and therefore growth decrease right now? In the industry? Are you seeing talent acquisition holding strong, hiring, growth, holding strong? What are you experiencing right now?


Khurram Muhammad  3:09  

I think it's a little bit of both, to be honest with you, a little bit of both, for sure. Like, a great example is, about a year or so ago, when I first joined the business, it was still in the height of cold COVID per se. So like e-commerce going crazy, no one's going to stores, buying everything that they need for their children, or their families or their pets or whatever, all online. Obviously, as time has gone along, stores and everything started to open up again. So things have begun to shift a little bit further. 


But we're still seeing a good uptick because people still want to buy very, very nice luxury things for their children, and people are never going to stop having babies. So, we're continuing to see a lot of great upticks there. But one of the challenges that we're seeing within the world of E-commerce and everyone who's in E-commerce is seeing these supply chain issues. That was a big, big thing happening during COVID. And even to this day, it's still upside down. There are still a lot of issues there. So I would say a little bit of both.


James Mackey  4:05  

So from the supply chain standpoint, is that something that your company's seen getting better? Or is it literally just as bad as it was a year ago?


Khurram Muhammad  4:18  

I would say it's still pretty bad. It's been getting better like that's where we're putting different plans in place and putting in resources to our operations teams. We're trying to really develop different ways that we can help affect the supply chain for the future of Maisonette and the future of the business. So I would say it's definitely not perfect by any means, and definitely not what it was pre-COVID. But the company has definitely tried to do that.


James Mackey  4:43  

Sure. So how does all this impact talent acquisition? I mean, how competitive is the E-commerce space right now? Is it really a tough fight for top talent where people are receiving several offers or what are you seeing from that perspective?


Khurram Muhammad  4:57  

100%. The market is crazy, like absolutely crazy. Because you have a number of different competitors and different types of organizations that are out there, that are doing different things.


So we are a startup, 100 plus people in New York City-based, and can hire people 100% remotely. There are other organisations that are out there that might be larger corporations that offer more resources, and offer more different pieces of business that Maisonette may not be able to offer. 


So with every type of role, because I hire within all different disciplines within the business, so think about marketing, BD, finance, creative, engineering, product management, everything you can think of across the business, we're seeing candidates getting multiple offers, multiple paths of life that they can take and trying to hire them. So it's always tough, always a challenge.


James Mackey  5:47  

So how do you stand out? What's your talent strategy, particularly when you're coming up against these larger competitors?


Khurram Muhammad  5:54  

Definitely. So we really stand out with a few things. It's the mission of the organization, really helping parents navigate that paternal journey is really something beautiful to be a part of whether or not you have children, because we see kids in our lives every single day. We empathize with our culture because we're really trying to create an environment where everyone feels safe. 


If you play around on the Maisonette apps website, you'll see a DE&I report that really showcases the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, and really how impactful that is for our business. And that's one thing that I've noticed that people really, really love. They love to be a part of something, whether they come from a diverse demographic or not, they want to be able to build upon that type of culture. So that's something that we really try to emphasise here within our business. 


And then lastly, the opportunity for growth, we offer equity, we offer great opportunities for people to really learn and grow and have a lot of ownership, whether you're coming from a big organization where you feel siloed, and you feel stuck in your ways, and you want to do more, or if you're coming from another startup and just want to try a different type of environment. You know, we offer those few things that really help us stand out. And people always seem to really love that aspect of the business as well.


James Mackey  7:08  

For sure. I just pulled up the DE&I report. And it's cool. You have it as its own separate thing. Can you access it from the careers page as well? Or is it just like its own?


Khurram Muhammad  7:20  

I guess it's its own thing. You can definitely try, but it might be just if you scroll to the bottom of the page, it just reads in our careers page, that first page is new now. So I'm not sure if it's updated to get to the DE&I  report from there, but you can definitely get it from our website.


James Mackey  7:34  

That's cool! You have a diverse leadership team as well. 


Khurram Muhammad  7:36  

Definitely. Yes, absolutely.


Very much a diverse leadership team, companies female is women found it as well, like from the background of it. So definitely.


James Mackey  7:47  

Nice. I really love that you put your people initiatives and DE&I initiatives right on the right, on the site. And it's cool, because it talks a little bit about your values, what matters. And then also, what your focus is going to be over the next 18 months. I think that just brings a lot of certainties is the right word? But to people's minds that you're actually acting on what you say is important, right? So that's really cool. And you actually list out all the stats, current, and goals.


Khurram Muhammad  8:24  

100% and it's not that easy by any means. Especially for Maisonette because the industry that we tend to work within,  may not always be the most diverse. So attracting diverse talent to our environment it's always a challenge. It's never easy. It's never going to be easy, but we just try to empathize, with how we're trying to be different and what we're trying to do here.


James Mackey  8:47  

Is really interesting. I have not seen this before. Executive coaching for your senior levels, on diversity, and equity inclusion, between two to four hours customised for the need of each executive on diversity, and equity inclusion. I have not seen that before.


Khurram Muhammad  9:08  

Definitely. It's something really unique that they were doing before I started with the business and something I did just really empathize with last year. So because obviously, each executive or department lead is hiring for their team below them. So they all need to be trained to understand how to recruit and more importantly, how to build an environment where different people can feel welcomed.


James Mackey  9:31  

So another thing that I think goes above and beyond that, I just haven't seen before, content and creative. So in terms of the marketing collateral that you're creating for customers, a lot of the content has diversity, equity inclusion, kind of built into the topics like, you know, four important things to know about autism or neuro divergence or celebrating people coming from a certain background., 


I mean, you really have a robust program in place to really speak out in terms of inclusivity and diversity. And you're pushing that out. It's not just like an internal effort for headcount goals, right? Of getting percentages. It's what you're also pushing out into the world, which is really interesting and cool.


Khurram Muhammad  10:24  

100% and don't get me wrong, it's definitely not easy took a lot of work to get here. And obviously, there are always things that we can do better about, but definitely, things that I've enjoyed a lot about this business,


James Mackey  10:37  

For sure. And so the other thing that you discussed is providing equity and then just providing a great place to learn and grow. What's that strategy look like? How do you make it a great place to learn? There are certain efforts from an L&D perspective, you're investing a lot in that? Is it the onboarding experience? Is it having an experienced leadership team? Workshops? How do you enable that?


Khurram Muhammad  11:06  

So I think it's a little bit of a mixture of all of them. And these are things that we're continuously working on. So basically, a part of what we tend to offer to people within here as well are opportunities to learn different things. So if there are conferences that you want to attend things, events, and within the space that will help you with furthering your career, that's something that Maisonette wants to also get involved in. 


You know, we have an onboarding process here, where people who joined the business get a good overview of the business, learning about the company, we meet for all teams almost every other week at this point, talking about business leadership, and things going on within the business as a whole. So it's just really giving opportunities for people and having them create opportunities as well. If there are different things out there that they feel would help them out.


James Mackey  11:52  

For sure. 


Khurram Muhammad  11:55  

This is what has continuously been going to a work in progress as


James Mackey  12:00  

Yes, for sure. You know, I talked about this a lot in the tech industry, but I think it just applies across the board. Companies really cannot expect to attract top talent if they're not providing opportunities for people to grow. So, a lot of people, particularly if they're excited about joining a startup, and they're a good fit for a startup or an early growth stage company, the reason why they're going to a start-up, early-stage companies to make an impact and to learn a tonne, and grow in their career. 


So if companies that have the philosophy, okay, we want to hire somebody that's done like 95% of the job before,, they're going to cut themselves off from a large portion of the talent pool. And most of the guidelines I share with customers unless it's like a senior-level strategic position. But generally speaking, the guideline I provide to our clients and companies we advise is, you know, 70/30. Get somebody who has 70% of the core skill set, give them that 30% of growth, and you're probably going to get the best talent. You know, maybe 70/80s is probably a good range as well. Less than that, you really have to have very strong onboarding, and learning, and development, and coaching, and leadership, and management. But you know, more than that you know, people are gonna get bored very quickly. So it's better to find somebody at that 70/30 split. 


And the other thing is, if somebody is accepting a position in which they've done 100% before, to me, and maybe this is an assumption that's wrong, but they've done it 100% before, maybe they're not going to be the best fit for a startup or growth stage company. That's definitely a generalization. And I know that, but I think, by and large, most of the talent I see in the startup and growth stage, they're kind of looking to push to the next level. Right? And part of that is they're obviously looking for that growth. 


I want to talk to you a little bit about your process, right? Can you tell us a little bit about how you identify talent, and how you're screening talent? What things are you looking for as an early growth stage company?


Khurram Muhammad  14:16  

Definitely. So if I could generalise it, because obviously many different roles call for many different things. But generally, how the process works here from the quickest high level is, first off, sitting down with the hiring manager of the team and really understanding what they're looking for. Taking a good understanding of the spec, looking for the most important things to have, their nice to have, things that they're not looking for, and just really starting to build that commodity, before we go out to start to source. 


We post our jobs online, of course, and we utilize different tools just like LinkedIn. I've also had to since again, we are a startup, we are not the biggest company out here. We're not Facebook, we're not Google or anything just yet. So, I found myself having to try really creative outside of the box ways used to really get more of the company branding and the name out there. So a couple months ago, I did a Twitter verse, where I sat in a room with people and just had a conversation about the business and talked about DE&I, and really what we want to achieve here.  I've sat in on a panel, a couple of panels earlier this year as well, just explaining what I do, who we are, and how it makes us notice differently. 


So that's always a part of my process. Is just trying to be creative outside of the box ways to build relationships with people. Because usually, once they learn the story, they're like, Alright, this is really cool. You know, like, Oh, I'm actually a parent, this seems really, really cool, or I'm not a parent, but this though, seems very interesting, because e-commerce is very cool. So it's always a part of my process to try outside of the box ways from there. 


And then from that point on, looking at resumes, looking to build relationships, a big part of my process is just really getting to know people. Me being in recruitment for so long, I always like to focus on quality and quantity. So I tend to speak to a lot of candidates at first to help me get a good understanding of what will make a perfect candidate. This is what makes a good candidate. This is not what we're looking for. 


So a big part of my process is really getting to know people, building relationships, and really understanding their needs, you know, really what they're looking for, why they're looking for a new opportunity, and how could something like this be a fit, and then, of course, selling back to them about what we're looking for, if this opportunity might be a good fit for now, for the future, and really just having to start our great relationship from there.


James Mackey  16:38  

For sure. So one thing that you mentioned, that's really interesting to me too, and I think it's gonna be valuable, is to understand how much you're really investing in your personal brand and relationships. Because I think that's a trend that I'm seeing that's very effective, that probably not enough recruiters and recruiting managers are really investing in it. You know, just the concept of like, doing the panels getting out there, building real relationships, meeting with people, as an important part of the strategy opposed to always sitting behind a screen just looking at resumes, and sending out emails, setting up the screening calls that really don't encourage like real relationships to be developed. 


So how much of your time is focused on your personal brand, getting out there, building real relationships versus maybe more old school traditional recruiting kind of sitting behind the screen, just having your team do that kind of like sourcing motion or vetting motion?


Khurram Muhammad  17:32  

Definitely, I will say for me, I mean, it's always going to be old school normal, like the majority of my job, probably just out there looking at resumes, reaching out with people whom can I build relationships with? So I would say maybe 80/20. In fact, on a good day, 70/30 just because I can't speak stuff every single week, because I don't know if there are that many events even going on within the business, but I do try to do it as actively as I can.


So for me, probably around that 70/30, 80/20 at the end of the day. But like I said, it's not just speaking at events, that's just one as I've just taken it to the extra mile for myself, you know, I work, I've built relationships with some media outlets out there within the industry to kind of tell the story about Maisonette. They've written an article about us, our employees have written things, and they have posted the articles about us, which is what do builds in NYC. So it's just like a number of different media outlets that I've tried different ways as well. But to answer your question, probably around 70/30, 80/20.


James Mackey  18:32  

I think that's a really healthy split. And honestly, I think more talent acquisition leaders should be doing that. There's just so much value. And, one thing that I talk with a lot of leaders about, and I'm probably gonna start sounding like a broken record on this pretty soon, but you can't really scale relationships. I mean, to some extent, you can scale a lot of processes. But when it comes to developing deep relationships with people, it's something where you can never get detached and lose your pulse on that, as a leader. 


You have to get in there, get or get out there, however you want to put it, get in front of people, and build real relationships. Because that's going to be one of the primary drivers to being effective in our career is right? Not only opportunities for us as individuals, but you know, referrals, right? 


Getting your name out there, getting that recognition. And at the end of the day, people want to work for leaders, they want to work for people they respect, like-minded people that maybe share similar values. And that's gonna carry even more weight than just like a company name, right? If they feel like they know somebody or somebody knows, you know, through like a third party or something like that. That's ultimately going to be very effective. Particularly if you're looking for people that have industry experience. Right? I mean, I feel like the more industry experience matters, even more, that relationships matter. Relationships matter even more, right?


Khurram Muhammad  19:50  

Yep. 100% and I love what you mentioned about the power of referrals. I think that's one of the most important things that is low-hanging fruit at the end of the day, and it really starts from having great relationships. You don't get referrals, if you treat your candidates like a number, you have to treat every candidate individually, as they are their own person and their own human being at the end of the day.


You know, one of my recent hires came from a referral. I built a relationship with a woman, we had a really, really great call, she spoke with a hiring manager, and really loved the conversation, not the perfect fit. And I let her know, via email was like, Hey, we really enjoyed speaking with you. This is some of the feedback on why you weren't a good fit. She really appreciated it and sent me the resume of a friend who was an excellent fit for the role, and he actually ended up hiring. So it was just the power of a good relationship at the end of the day. 


James Mackey  20:44  

I mean, talk about candidate experience. I feel like you know you have candidate experience down, if somebody that you passed on for a role is the one giving you the referral? All right, so what are your secrets? Tell us how you did that.


Khurram Muhammad  21:02  

It's a great relationship. And it's as easy as that sounds, the recruiters that have worked under me or that I worked with, I teach them the values of a positive relationship, whether someone is a good fit for the role or not, there are many things that you have to do, you really have to get to know them, you have to understand what their wants, what they're looking for. So back to that. If they speak to someone and they say, I'm not a right fit, they're not a right fit, we get feedback to showcase that they are not a good fit, tell them that, and share that with them. Don't ghost them, don't send an email, don't send a blind email six months later saying, Oh, hey, we're not the right fit for this role. Follow up in a timely manner. 


A great example is if a candidate speaks with a hiring manager on Monday, maybe you get feedback by Wednesday, try to follow up at the end of the week, or give it a couple more days after that. But just be sure to follow up. And let the person know, because I hear too much in this industry, from candidates who never hear back from their recruiters. They never get any feedback. They hear from them, they go through an interview process, they never hear anything back six months later, and they get an email about a job offer. Those are things that are just not great experiences. And I've experienced this as a candidate myself. That's my biggest secret is just really, really treating each person like they are a person and not just a number because you want to hire them,


James Mackey  22:23  

For sure. And I think one of the ways that I try to teach Junior recruiters, is when you're doing screening calls don't sound like a robot. Don't talk really, really fast and ask questions like this and you know, note taking, I mean, you're not an automated system. And don't treat people like they're on the other end of talking to an automated system. And there's a lot of like sales influencers, particularly on LinkedIn that are like, no, don't waste your time saying How was your day, or where you located. You know, they just talked down on that stuff. I guess people should do what feels natural, but from my perspective, it's always to lead with the human element first, get to know people, and get to understand what they care about and what their values are. 


That's just very important to develop a good relationship and to create a great experience. I know we're all moving fast. And a lot of times recruiters are moving from calls back to back. But if you lose that human element and that relationship piece, then your conversion rates are gonna drop significantly, and you're probably going to be less fulfilled with work, too. But, you know, from a purely business standpoint, it's just simply less effective to not invest in relationships, right?


Khurram Muhammad  23:33  

Absolutely, absolutely. And then God forbid, you actually want to hire that person, you have no report. They're not going to be your best friend, they're not going to explain to you what they're liking about the company, how their other interviews are going, you're not going to be able to have that report. So you have to really take the time.


James Mackey  23:50  

Yes, they're a lot more likely to drop out because of one little thing, they're not going to tell you what it is, they're gonna ghost you, or they're not gonna give you deep feedback or tell you the real reasons, right? You know, you lose out and all that stuff.


Khurram Muhammad  24:03  

You lose out on all that stuff. I can tell you another quick, great success story of the power of trying something outside of the box, and building a relationship. I mentioned a little bit earlier that I spoke in a Twitter-verse. You know, it was a big room of people where I talked about Maisonette, about the business and who we are, and the DE&I and just what I've done, within the business of my time here. What happened was maybe 60 or 70 people in this room, and we all know how hard it is to hire engineering talent. 


There was one engineer that was in that room to apply to our company. And he ended up getting a job here. And he told me after I built a relationship, after overtime, he was like, you want to know how I found out about Maisonette? I was in that Twitter-verse. And like that blew my mind. He was like, honestly, Khurram just hearing you talk about the business as you're right in front of me, that stood out so much to me. So he was like, I highly recommend you continue to put yourself out there in front of the people. And as you mentioned, James getting in front of the people, the power of that, obviously. And that's just a very, very successful and lucky story. But you know, you got to try.


James Mackey  25:10  

Yeah, I mean, I think you're being pretty humble when you say lucky. I mean, I think it's, there's a formula there, right? And I think it's about making it repeatable, and how do you kind of scale it as much as you can, with the understanding that it's never going to be as much at scale, as, you know, doing other motions within talent acquisition, like you have to just invest the time.


I think one thing that can be really valuable to the audience is going through, how can leaders get on more panels. How can they build these relationships to get the speaking engagements, and put themselves out there? I mean, the lowest-hanging fruit, from my perspective, is posting on LinkedIn. That's something I do religiously, once to twice a day, at this point I'm asked the following of around 32,000 people, and I want to grow much more than that. But it's just such a great outlet to share my thoughts and perspective on talent acquisition. But when it comes to speaking engagements, right, how do you get on these things? They've listened to you, they see the success stories, they know it works, what do they do from there?


Khurram Muhammad  26:16  

Honestly, it's research, I found those opportunities that I was able to speak at very luckily, was just me doing research and find, where can I speak to people or where can I get in front of people to speak about DE&I? Because that's a big influence for our company. So I went down and Google different DE&I platforms, and DE&I websites where people are congregating to build, to learn about DE&I within the workplace. 


So that's how it started for me, and just pure research, and then trying to network with people, reaching out to maybe a rep, or reaching out to a contact or just reaching out to someone within the business and just kind of explaining who I am. And then starting the relationship from there. So that's for me, it just starts with pure research and just Google. Just start off that way and then kind of make your way down a rabbit hole, because you just never know what you'll see out there.


James Mackey  27:07  

So like googling upcoming events? Did you Google like upcoming DE&I events? 


Khurram Muhammad  27:15  

I live in New York City area. So I'll google like, DE&I hiring events, I look up black engineering talent, you know, for example, or like black creative talent. And then sometimes you'll see something like a website, and then you'll see oh, there are events, or like, another big one. That's been really good for me in the last couple of months is Slack. Like, because obviously, we use Slack for work. But there are many, many different Slack channels. 


So I've actually been trying to join as many Slack channels as I possibly can, and then posting in them, here and there to say, Hey, my name is Khurram,  I'm a senior manager of recruitment here at Maisonette, we're hiring for some positions. Some people respond, but then you go down rabbit holes from there. Another woman in one of those groups, was like, Oh, I see that you are a part of this community, check out this website, remote I've never heard of that before, you should sign up for this website, too. So that opens up another channel that I can go down from and see if people are networking or doing events or speaking engagements as well. So pretty cool.


James Mackey  28:21  

That's really cool. Yeah, I love that. And you're right, Slack communities are getting more and more powerful, it seems. And there are a lot of slack communities out there that I think people should be looking for. I'm part of a couple of communities that definitely have been really, really valuable. And quite honestly, I should probably do more there, to look up additional communities for me to join. So that's really helpful, tactical insight.


One other topic before we jump off today, what is your advice and guidance to people that want to move up into acquisition and move into a manager position? What do they need to do in order to earn that role?


Khurram Muhammad  29:03  

It's a very good question. I would say you would have to showcase that you are very flexible. That is one of the most important things that I've learned. And I've learned back in the day, in my early days of recruitment as a good recruiter, a great recruiter can recruit for anything. Yes, there are different facets of recruitment. 


Technology recruitment is very different from traditional business recruitment. I am definitely not as strong as a tech recruiter as I am as a generalist business recruiter. But I have recruited engineers before, I have hired and had success hiring engineers and product managers before because it's only about me being flexible and really just like everything, I am a clean slate every single time I'm here to learn. I'm here to try. So I would say really being adjustable and flexible. 


On the flip side, not being afraid to make mistakes, you will always make mistakes. Whether you are the most tenured recruiter, whether you are a junior recruiter, you cannot have a big hit. You have to be willing to make mistakes, try new things, and fall flat on your face, but also get right back up and get right back on that horse as well. So, being able to really have a lot of self-awareness as well know your strengths, know your weaknesses, but also be open to criticism.


I am not perfect, I'm not the most perfect recruiter, I have great habits, I got bad habits, I got a lot of bad habits too. But at the end of the day,  if you really want to grow up and make your way down that pure individual contributor path or the managerial path to teach others, you have to go through the experiences first. So I think some of those two things are some of the things that I can think about.


James Mackey  30:49  

I love it. And I think one thing that served me well, in my career, I don't know why this resonates so much with me. But I want to say just in case it can resonate with others, I think a big part of becoming a senior level and becoming a leader is you need to understand when to be stubborn and you need to understand when to be the student. 


You have to have the judgment to understand like, alright, you got to be stubborn on the goals. If something's important to you, and you want to become something, or you want to be a leader, or you want to get to that manager, director VP level, then you have to be very stubborn on that goal, because it's going to be hard to get there. But at the same time, you have to be very flexible with the path you take, the tactics, and being coachable. Those are the things that you need to be adaptable and be open to being the student, right? And be wise enough to know the difference between what to be stubborn on and what to be the one to be the student, right?


Khurram Muhammad  31:44  

100%, you know, I can't stress that enough, especially because I've grown into management. In my time here. I was an individual contributor when I first joined the business. Shortly thereafter, we grew the team a little bit. And then I had to jump into management, which is something that was brand new to me. But it was just thinking about teaching people about the experiences I've gone through. I have hired many people and have lost many job offers. And that's the first thing that I always tell recruiters whether and especially when I'm interviewing recruiters, tell me about a time when you dropped an offer. I want to know why. And what did you learn from it? A great recruiter will be able to say, this is what I did, I dropped the ball, I made a mistake, and a not-so-great recruiter will just say, well, the person just didn't accept the job. Because there's always so much more to the story than just a person who didn't accept the job. 


Yes, situations do happen. But it's just at the end of the day, I'm looking for self-awareness, I'm looking for someone who can learn, who can quickly be coachable, who can understand that they're going to make mistakes. If we were all perfect recruiters, we'd be billionaires right now. We'd be running our own agencies consulting and be billionaires sitting on a beach just doing recruiting in our sleep doesn't work like that in real life.


James Mackey  32:55  

You're right, it really teaches you two things about the candidate, are they self-aware? Are they coachable? Because, if somebody can't answer that question, or just gives a one-liner response, then they're not critically thinking about how to get better, or what potentially went wrong. And they're also potentially not coachable.   If they're not able to be self-aware that it also makes it harder for you to coach them on what to get better at. So it's a great question because you can kind of knock out soft skills if you will, that are gonna determine if somebody's a good fit.


Khurram Muhammad  33:38  

Yep, absolutely. 100%. So those are the things that I've learned and those are the things that I feel it's given me success, but also things that also continue to help me learn as I grow, you know, over my career as well.


James Mackey  33:55  

Khurram, we're coming up on time here. I just wanted to say thank you so much for joining us today. This has been a lot of fun.


Khurram Muhammad  34:02  

Yes, likewise, I really appreciate it. I do appreciate you taking the time to invite me, James. 


James Mackey  34:08  

All right, and everybody tuning in, thank you, and we'll see you next time.

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