The Giraffe – Sticking Your Neck Out

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 5, 2008 in Executive Coaching |

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No one seems to want to train anyone anymore. Time, resources, and often patience, are scarce with managers in any type of job. Turnover ends up costing even more in lost time and knowledge transfer of intellectual property.

When hiring new people, managers should think of the giraffe. The giraffe moves gracefully through the jungle, observing their surroundings, often stopping to snack on tree leaves around them, only running when in the face of danger.

Like the giraffe, a good manager will think strategically about their team so they won’t have to rush to find people in crisis mode. They will stick their neck out looking for candidates that have 75-80% of the skill sets they seek. People who have the ability to pick up the remaining 20-25% as they grow and evolve in the job are more likely to stay longer, ultimately leading to a higher sense of job satisfaction and overall increased performance.

Looking for and hiring people that have the exact job title, skill set, and experience you want can lead to boredom sooner rather than later. Try to select employees that you have something to offer. They will want to stick around and nibble on the leaves with you for awhile. You just might build a better team getting to know them along the way as well as being able to build upon their interests and skills.

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

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1 Comment

Feb 6, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Excellent points Carolyn! Keeping an employee motivated and excited about their job is more likely to happen when they are continuing to learn and grow in their job. But my question to you is, how do you convince an employer that you have what it takes to learn the other 25% of the job for which you are interviewing?


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