Recently I tried an exercise class for the first time. I had a little bit of “new student anxiety,” but the instructor was welcoming and friendly. Although the class was comprised of both new and returning students, our instructor made a point to know each student’s name and addressed us by name when offering encouragement or feedback. I was impressed, but then she went one step further!
During a particularly tough set of repetitions, she encouraged me to “smile like I was recruiting for Hyatt.” I was completely shocked by this statement because I never shared with her where I worked. Noticing my surprised expression, she winked and stated, “I googled you, I want to get to know all my new students.”
My experience trying out this exercise class for the first time reaffirmed a belief I had prior to the class. In order to build authentic relationships, you have to take the time to learn a person’s name and relevant details about them.
Personalize the Experience
I felt more connected to the instructor during her class because she not only took the time to learn my name, but she also remembered it and used it when addressing me. It is likely that if given a choice over her class or another instructor’s, I will choose a class taught by her because she made an effort to personalize the experience.
During the career search, the same feeling can be achieved by personalizing correspondence or addressing cover letters to a specific recruiter. I often perceive candidates who take the time to do this as more prepared and targeted in their search.
Are You Really Bad with Names?
Although I know the value of using and remembering a person’s name, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been unable to do so or has had someone be unable to remember my name. Depending upon the frequency of your interactions, it’s forgivable, but there is a difference between the occasionally forgotten name and those individuals that offer the excuse that they are “so bad with names.”
Mindy Kaling said it best in her book, when she wrote: “I don’t think it should be socially acceptable for people to say they are “bad with names.” No one is bad with names. That is not a real thing. Not knowing people’s names isn’t a neurological condition; it’s a choice. You choose not to make learning people’s names a priority. It’s like saying, “Hey, a disclaimer about me: I’m rude.” Mindy may have been a bit harsh, but I’m inclined to agree with her. If you truly want to build a relationship with a person, you have to remember their name. It’s one of the easiest ways to show an individual respect.
Although I was a bit surprised by the instructor googling me prior to the class, I admired her for using the information she was given. Students are required to sign up for the class in advance, so she had the time to see what students were new and to do a bit of research. I liken this to the candidate experience in terms of preparing for an interview or networking opportunity.
Taking the time to learn about a recruiter or the company representative you want to build a connection with will only benefit you and set you apart. The candidate that has done their research by accessing my profile on LinkedIn, researching current events with our company, or reading blogs I’ve written often has the advantage with me.
It’s easy to underestimate the effort that goes into building a relationship, but the person that takes it seriously and recognizes the valuable return on investment they will receive for their efforts will be rewarded.
Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers. Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee. During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit hyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at blog.hyatt.jobs.