Sunday, June 21, 2009

Look for People with a Lot of Tools on Their Belts

In a recent meeting of Chief Executive Boards International, the discussion turned to the current largest-ever pool of available talent for hire. One of the members mentioned he had just hired someone who had "a lot of tools on his belt." Interesting mental image -- remember Schneider, the building super on the 70's sitcom "One Day at a Time"? Well, maybe not quite like that....

Seriously, in many businesses, particularly smaller ones, breadth is a lot more valuable than depth. We can generally outsource for special skill needs. What's more scarce is the person who is good at a whole lot of things, rather than excellent at only 1 or 2 things. A friend of mine, Joe Trotter, used to call these kinds of people "decathletes" (a combination of speed, power, jumping ability, and endurance).

If you're trying to explain what you're looking for in a broadly-talented candidate, try using phrases like, "a lot of tools on his belt", or words like "decathlete". These word pictures help another person understand your meaning and remember it in a more vivid way.

And, once again, don't overlook gray hair, a common attribute of broadly-experienced people. In his recent newsletter, John Mauldin of Outside the Box quotes David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff drawing the following insight on the latest unemployment numbers:
" ..the only segment of the population that is gaining jobs is the 55+ age category. This group gained 224,000 net new jobs in May while the rest of the population lost 661,000. In fact, over the last year, those folks 55 and up garnered 630,000 jobs whereas the other age categories collectively lost over six million positions. This is epic."
Other people are scooping up this talent pool, and you can, too -- just don't wait too long.

If you're doing some hiring and have made some amazing talent "finds", please click "Comments" below and share them with others.
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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

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