May 19; Raising The Bar In The Hiring Process;
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Five: Hiring; 19 May

Put your outdoor work in order and

get your fields ready;

after that, build your house.

Proverbs 24:27

Raising The Bar In The Hiring Process

Expectations

I could still see out of my left eye. The purple was healing, turning yellowish. Caps on my teeth would come in a dental visit in a few days. The bar fight did not go so well for Your Business Professor.

It probably was not a good idea to go on that job interview later that week. I did ask for advice. My executive recruiter looked at me and laughed. The head hunter looked at my battered head to be hunted, and said, “At least [XYZ Corporation] will know what they are getting before they hire you…” We laughed some more. I liked him.

We practice for the interview.  I say,

“I’ll fight for every account!”

“Nothing stops me from accomplishing a goal!”

“You want market share? I’ll get you market share”

My visit to that bar, Saddles in Richmond, Virginia, might have been good training in some lines of work. Maybe.

***

“No Surprises.” CEO Jack Welch took GE from $12 billion to $280 billion in market value. He got this done through a strategy and a personnel structure that was often criticized.

Critics complained of the Welch “rank and yank” (he hated that phrase) merciless report card-ing. However, we all need to be reminded that the job applicant went into the interview knowing that the CEO would be quick to fire for non-performance.

The hiring manager must ask himself, “Do I know what I’m getting? Can he take it?”

The job applicant must ask himself, “Do I know what I’m getting into? Can I take it?”

Are you looking at a job that has a Darwinian management system where only the fittest survive? Then don’t be surprised with the lack of unicorns or duck-billed platypuses in the day-to-day work experience. The new hire should not complain that the CEO doesn’t grade on a curve or award participation trophies and hug me every Monday morning. What were you expecting?

The Alert Candidate better know that a rose garden was never promised.

***

The United States Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, during WWII was later re-org-ed into the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Special Operations Command. Patrick K. O’Donnell, an expert on Special Operations, describes a part of the hiring process,

The OSS recruited across a broad spectrum of American society for its special operators. The recruits, all volunteers, were informed that most would not survive hazardous duty behind the lines.

But many answered the call to duty. They were superior athletes with high intelligence and foreign language skills. An ideal OSS candidate was described as a “Ph.D. who could win a bar fight.”

Don’t want to die? Don’t apply.

No one should be surprised at the risks in applying to the Special Forces. Or the civilian work force.

***

Managers like to minimize risk. The hiring supervisor at [XYZ Corp] liked me. And I liked him. “Is there a fit between what I do and what you need?” I ask through broken teeth; a trial close in the sales process.

“Yes,” he says.

“Will you hire me?” I ask.

“Nope.” He laughs.

I laugh.

The interview was good practice. And good for a laugh. But I knew that going in.

Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27.

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