When a candidate bailed on us.


King County - blog image 2

On the 16th of December, 2021, we had our first meeting with King County.  A couple meetings later, the County hired KAPITAL to conduct our DreamHire Retained Exclusive Search.  We were overjoyed to add  King County to our growing list of incredible organizations we have served. It was extra sweet that the County hired us the week of MLK Jr. Day.

KAPITAL’s A team worked on this search. We were rest assured that the account was in great hands.

The intake meeting with the County occurred on the 19th of January 2022. Our intake meetings are crucial to us because it is where we understand the requirement of the search from our clients from all of the stakeholders in-depth by asking them various questions. The objective is for us to understand the requirement both from a Functional/Technical as well as from a Culture-fit perspective.  From the County side, we had 3 senior-level decision-makers as the representatives for the search - from the User Organization as well as HR and Talent Acquisition and not to mention the Chief Procurement Officer, the sponsor for the search.

The employee benefits and pension plans that King County had to offer were exceptionally attractive when compared to other organizations. Two of the major requirements from their end were — for the candidate to be based in the State of Washington and for them to have an Oracle Cloud Procurement experience and current Certification. 

After gaining insights and discussing a search strategy, we built a pipeline of suitable candidates from scratch. Next, we follow our 17-touchpoints process to determine whether or not the candidate is a fit for the role.

We continued our Weekly Steering Meetings — our Steering Meetings are where we share updates with the client and learn their feedback. This helps both parties to stay connected and build long-term relationships. We continue to have weekly steering meetings until we close the position successfully. Over time our Steering Meetings have become one of KAPITAL’s unique value propositions, which add incredible value based on numerous satisfaction surveys we conduct at the conclusion of each search.

King County - blog image

Our Oracle Cloud - Talent Acquisition Expert says that they distinctly remember one of their initial conversations where one of the King County representatives in our Steering Meetings mentioned, ‘I could look into your eyes and tell you that you would find us the right individual.’

Those words indeed meant a lot to them and the whole team at KAPITAL. That truly showed that we had done something right to gain that kind of trust, and now it was time to go beyond their expectations.

Our team's efforts started showing results after weeks of looking for a candidate who would check all the boxes and have the required skills and qualifications. Although, little did we know what was in store for us. 

We found an exceptional candidate who not only ticked the boxes but seemed the best fit. We presented them on 22nd March 2022. We went on with our procedures; all the stakeholders loved their professionalism, and everything looked great. On the flip side, we had our doubts about certain aspects of the pieces of information they provided, but they assured us that it would never be a roadblock and they would deliver her best. So we took the leap of faith. They were supposed to start work on the coming Monday, but it turned out that on Saturday before the Monday (when they were supposed to start work), they called up our team member to only let him know that they got another opportunity as a consultant at a different firm and would be taking that up. Our world came crashing down. 

Not because we were not prepared, we know things like this might happen, but sometimes you really don’t see it coming, and it still does occur. In such a case, you can do either one of two things: hide and tell it was not our fault or take ownership and reassure them to find another purple squirrel; we decided to do what we always do. We immediately got back in touch with King County; Our Vice President of Strategic Accounts, who was leading this search, explained the situation and assured them that we would find their purple squirrel (just like a unicorn horn) because purple squirrels are also hard finds, he says.

Throughout the whole situation, King County was extremely patient with us. We honestly could not thank them enough for their trust and support. They were aware that this was a tough find, and even after the uncertainties, they did not give up, and so didn't we. 

Our Oracle Cloud - Talent Acquisition Expert was back on their toes; they had 3 strong candidates in their pipeline as backup and presented them. We were convinced that one among the three was our purple squirrel. Our Vice President of Strategic Accounts immediately stepped up and pitched the candidate to King County with the world of conviction he had in her. Our purple squirrel was Geetha Anjali; she had all the qualifications and skills required. The only thing holding King County from hiring Geetha was that she did not have an Oracle Procurement Cloud certification. It was indeed a tough nut to crack. 

Since everyone agreed she was a fit, the condition here was that she would only be hired if she had a certification. Our VP of Strategic Accounts pitched the same to Geetha, letting her know about the requirement. To our utmost surprise, she stood up to the challenge. She applied for the certification the very next day, and within 2 days, she was a CERTIFIED  Oracle Procurement Cloud Professional! We all were amazed at what had happened. Neither our team nor anyone of us was predicting this. 

Post the completion of our search, here's what King County's Human Resource Analyst, Liz Callahan,  had to say about the candidate we found them and our overall search process -


It was a celebratory moment for the candidate, King County, and us. We had found our best purple squirrel. 

We finally closed the search on 30th May 2022, on Memorial Day. This specific search taught us a lot. Our industry can be very fickle sometimes; you think everything is done, and then you are back to square one. Selling a product or a service is comparatively easier than pitching a candidate; it takes a lot of trust. If you ask us, we are all in for it, come what may. We would never have it any other way. 

Talk To Us