These are unprecedented times that we as leaders are facing. We have some experience and learnings from 9/11 and the economic downturn of ’08-’09, but nothing of this magnitude or uncertainty.
With all that is going, I am seeing a great deal of talented people who have been working in specialized fields for the majority of their careers, suddenly out of work. Most of them have no handle on when their specialized industries will return, stronger than ever, to welcome them home.
With all of this, and how I have had to pivot my own thinking in hiring over the years, I wanted to bring back up the topic of hiring the right fit, for the right role. To find this, sometimes you need to take a deeper, longer look at a candidate, to truly see what they bring to the table.
To follow this thinking, I am putting a challenge out there today to all of you. I challenge everyone to change your filters as you consider candidates for roles in your company and your network.
Experience truly is subjective. Look at what the candidate brings to the role, not necessarily the previous role they held. Take a Bird Trainer for example. The resume that floats past you for an office position might reference 7 years of working as a Bird Trainer, and all the pieces that go with that. But look deeper, to find that based on their experience you can see that they are dependable, meticulous, organized, detailed and patient. Now take those transferable skills and apply them as a filter over your position you are hiring for. Seeing the overlap now? A stage manager makes an unbelievable project manager, labor negotiator, or even a Nanny. There are endless skills that they possess from basically being the cat herder of a show. Consider a Sales rep for a product development position, who better to help develop something than someone who has been selling a similar product and knows where the issues lie? These are just a few examples to help you adjust your lens and begin a new journey….
Just as a recap, my challenge is for all of us, in our infinite networks, to look at new ways to open the doors to qualified candidates who might just surprise you. I encourage you to all share this with one person who isn’t on my network, and give all of those who are looking a truly fair shot.
For those who are searching, remember when you are looking, it’s not just about what you have done, so much as what you can do. And what you can do is limitless.
Remember, this too shall pass, slowly and like a kidney stone, but it will pass.