A flake is defined in many ways by different people. Here’s my definition based on my lived experience:
I landed on this definition after much soul searching. See, flakes manifest themselves in many ways. Some ghost, others simply don’t deliver, they may not show up or display disrespect or inconsideration towards others. In whatever way it comes to be, a flake will ultimately be unreliable and unprepared.
I need to address this because I notice an increase in the number of flakes I am attracting, and it impacts me in many ways. Let me illustrate this through an example based on a true story.
If you are not familiar with how I work, I am invested in the success of my candidates. Before I send a candidate off to an interview that they have shown keen interest in, I want to make sure that they are prepared. They want to show up at their best, and I have always been happy to coach them. In the end, they reflect on me and my business.
Prior to the interview, I scheduled a free coaching session with a candidate. I shared with her that we would be going through her resume and highlighting things the employer would be interested in. It would be a working coaching session. She asked that we have the call at 7:30 a.m. (before coffee!), and I accommodated her request.
I get up bright and early, prepare my notes, and place the call. She was in her car. She was going to be driving for the full hour of our call. The sound wasn’t great. She was obviously not taking notes and her attention was split.
As we were coming to the end of the call, she shared that she was no longer interested in the interview.
But it didn’t end there for me. I had to call the employer to cancel the interview with them as the candidate was no longer interested in the role.
One of my roles is for a senior sales leader and pays well into the six-figure range. It requires someone technical who can also sell, so it is a very specific profile. I was excited to find, who I thought to be, the perfect candidate. I screened them, and scheduled an interview with the employer.
The day of the interview came and I was counting down. I knew this candidate was going to nail it.
A couple of minutes before the interview, the candidate contacts me and asks me to re-send him the interview information because he’s misplaced it. He calls me and demands that I send it to him. I’m still in shock that he lost it, and he says “whatever.” And hangs up on me.
The interview did not go well.
The making of lemonade
Each person I present is a spokesperson for the caliber of candidates I represent to the client. To say both of these instances were embarrassing for me is an understatement. After each, I needed to do damage control to save my business and relationships.
So, if you know a flake. If you have been a flake. If you don’t want to be a flake, be mindful and reliable. There is nothing wrong with admitting to a mistake or oversight. Life always happens, it’s the human condition. There is nothing wrong with not being able to meet an expectation, not being interested or just having a change of heart – so own it. Apologize sincerely and move on.
I know one thing is for sure. If you choose to sweep it under a rug, it will be a matter of time before others will reconsider how invested they become in your success.
However, if you are ready to find your next challenge in sales and marketing, and are excited to find a recruiter who will champion you – look no further.