There is a common theme from executive level candidates who are frustrated that someone with lesser skills, record of success or credentials, was selected. How did that happen?
For candidates who want to elevate their job search skills to the next level, here are some suggestions. Some of these points have been covered in previous posts and others reflect what I feel is a dramatically different job search environment. So, take note of these 10 steps.
© 2014 John Gregory Self
You have a critical choice between two employees. You can hire only one. So who will it be?
One is an articulate Harvard MBA who is cool, confident and calculating, someone with excellent references from professors and friends and from a highly successful family, a young man who thinks the work you have will be interesting and something he would like to do, if the compensation package is right. The second candidate is a friendly guy who graduated in the middle of his class at a small state-supported liberal arts college. He is well-spoken. He seems excited about the work you are offering. He also seems oblivious to the compensation package. He peppers interviewers with question after question, covering everything from the company’s portfolio of services, reputation and working culture, to the people he will be teaming up with.
So who do you hire — the smart guy from Harvard with the impressive family tree, or the guy who you feel will pour his heart and soul into the job for the company?
I like the candidate who has passion, who will invest all his energies into the work and the company. Unless the academic deficit is mind blowing, and the position requires stratospheric intellectual academic credentials, always go with the qualified candidate who demonstrates a heart-and-soul commitment to the work and the company. The candidate who finds the work interesting but seems more concerned with the money and room for promotion, won’t be around long enough to make a meaningful contribution. A more interesting job that pays more will always be around the next corner.
Bonus: Questions for your interview file
For this last question to be meaningful, your recruiting team, or outside search firm, should have provided the candidate with an in-depth profile of the company, the job requirements, challenges, and expectations of performance. This should include a candid discussion, prior to the site interview, of why the position is open. Remember, recruiting is like getting married. A marriage based on inadequate disclosure — overt or covert — is doomed to fail.
© 2014 John Gregory Self
TYLER, Texas — On Saturday I accepted my ice bucket challenge in support of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It was a hot day, the temperature was approaching the 100-degree mark, so what better time to have a bucket of cold water poured on me.
For those who delay in accepting your challenge, let me point out that the fall season will be here before you know it. To have a bucket of ice water dumped on your head on a hot day is one thing, but on a 55-degree day — well, that is a joy that, all things considered, I would just as soon not experience.
In the US, this terrible disease for which there is no cure and no effective treatment, is most commonly linked to baseball player Henry Louis “Buster” Gehrig, the left-handed first baseman of the New York Yankees who played for 17 seasons before retiring in 1939. Nicknamed “The Iron Man” in tribute to his incredible durability, Gehrig set many baseball records including playing in the most consecutive games, 2,130, a remarkable standard that survived for more than 50 years until it was eclipsed it in 1995 by Baltimore Orioles shortstop Calvin Edwin “Cal” Ripken, Jr.
Gehrig’s touching but simple farewell speech to his thousands of adoring fans at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, is central to why this devastating malady is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Gehrig’s Farewell Speech – Yankee Stadium, July 4, 1939
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.
“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.
“So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.”
© 2014 John Gregory Self