Expectations vs Reality in a Business Partnership

Expectations vs Reality in a Business Partnership

So often we hear about setting expectations as we are starting a business relationship. For me personally, working with so many small biopharmaceutical organizations there are many processes not quite defined in terms of utilizing an outside recruiting partner. The hiring point of contact can be the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Medical Officer, or potentially a Vice President. He/she has a vision of what they want in a particular hire. My team will discuss what that looks like….let’s say a 30-45 minute conversation on the role, upcoming milestones, and various other topics to really define the role.

On the other side of the fence, one of the several cornerstone questions I ask candidates as our relationship is getting out of the blocks, typically looks like this… “paint me a picture of what an ideal job/ role is for you”. I think in a sense we are all dreamers and looking at a “perfect” job, is exciting. Very similar to window shopping, car shopping…whatever your thing is.

Looking at both sides of the hiring process…can you see where there needs to be some expectations set here….not quite, well hang tight.

If I speak with leadership on their ideal candidate and I don’t provide some market knowledge, what the hiring landscape looks like, what their competitors are doing to attract talent…they expect that our results will be 100% what they described. If we don’t produce exactly, to the nth degree, then we have failed in their eyes. Expectations.

As I am working and creating a profile for a new candidate, if I don’t provide market data on compensation, describe what titling means for a particular client/ partner, work through funding/ financing questions for a particular client/ partner, explain the vision of the company…I am failing the candidate. Expectations.

Let’s add a 3rd layer in here. Working through the contract and the Human Resources aspect of interviewing, offering the job (negotiating that offer), and on-boarding. Expectations.

 Here is the magic recipe that solidifies the reality doesn’t get ugly.

  1. Honesty
  2. Transparency
  3. Humility

There is nothing more critical to a lasting partnership. This is a people planet….we are all human. We all have wants, needs, and quite honestly we all want the best. Who really wants to settle for 2nd, 3rd, 4th….no one. That isn’t how we are wired. However, your 1st choice in any given situation, might be my 3rd choice. Perspective isn’t bad, it is healthy and needs to be championed.

Let your expectations be your reality, discuss openly, collaborate more, take pride in a team effort. We are all in it to win it, as they say team work makes the dream work.

Shawn Friend, Partner