The modern business environment can often feel like a cyclone in the middle of an earthquake: the footing ain’t stable and the changes are a-blowin’ hard. So it seems expedient and normal to try to fill a job opening in your organization with “the first good candidate we find.”
Let’s hit the Pause button for a second. The ground stops shaking and the wind dies down and that gives us time to think.
Unless the job opening is so crucial that any delay is smacking the bottom line like a rented mule, you can move from “Now” to “Wow” in filling that job opening. The key step to achieving that goal is to harness patience with imagination.
Patience is needed because you might feel all kinds of pressure to get a body in that seat and check that item off the 216-page ever-growing To Do List. But think of finding the “Wow” person like a CEO search: the process will take some time and involves imaging the future with that person.
Now you might be thinking, “But we’re NOT looking for a CEO!” And the patient, imaginative answer is, “Not at the moment, but you could be.” Every person who comes into your organization should have the highest potential to contribute to its success. But the push to just “fill the seat” can end up being much like the dating game of “Settling for Mr./Ms. Right Now” rather than making a closer search for “Ms./Mr. Right”, the one that has the oh-so-special “Wow” factor.
This suggestion is not intended to have you create a longer list of “ideal candidate traits.” Keeping the “Ms./Mr. Right” analogy going, you can’t find the “perfect” person by making a detailed list that includes “tastes in Milanese poetry” and “willingness to hand-wash cut glass.” What’s needed is the time to look beyond the immediate needs and try to evaluate what the candidate’s long-term contributions can be.
Here’s the thing: If you try hard enough, you will find what you’re looking for. So if you’re only trying to find for “Now,” you will. But to find “Wow,” you have to make some effort. Considering the long-term impact on your company’s bottom line, “some” effort to find “Wow” beats settling always for just “Now.”
By Gil C. Schmidt, Sharpline Contributor
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