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The Wildfire – Rebuilding After the Blaze

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Sep 21, 2009 in Thinking Positive

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The economy lately has been a little like the California wildfires that recently littered the news; hot and cold areas, hopping from hill to hill, changing directions without warning, rapidly igniting then ultimately extinguishing, leaving destruction and devastation in its wake, yet opening up opportunities for re-growth and rebuilding.

Last week I had the occasion to interview a fantastic candidate; Carl Adams.  Carl was recently the Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer with a large publicly traded local company and is now looking for a new position.  A CPA who led a staff of over 40 professionals, we got to talking about best practices of hiring, and I thought about how similar hiring after a downturn in the economy was to rebuilding the jungle or a forest after a fire.

Plant strategically- when rebuilding a forest, or a team, you need to think about the growth path and what the landscape will look like down the road, as people grow and evolve in their jobs.  Don’t choose a large group of similarly experienced people without a clear growth path for the future laid out.  You’ll end up losing them when you can’t promote them all at once. 

Instead, compliment your own strengths and weaknesses to build a team that will grow together, complement each other in their skills, creating a harmonious group with differing levels of expertise and experience.

It may still look barren now, but the strongest seeds have survived and will sprout into amazingly resilient plants. None of the variety and color has been lost in the heat of the flames. Don’t pass up opportunities to hire candidates who will strengthen your team and your company. A good candidate will require a little room to grow and show what they are made of and fill up the gaps.

Follow one simple rule that is a surefire strategy for success when evaluating people – Ask yourself: does this person have 75-80% of what I’m looking for?  If the answer is yes, then the remaining 20-25% is their growth path that they need to see in order to remain engaged long term. This one idea will ensure every person you hire has a growth path and will ultimately result in longer-term employees and less turnover. 

Back to Carl Adams…if you’re interested in seeing a copy of his resume, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Check out my webinar on Goal Setting!

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on!

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