The Case For Hiring Outside The Lines
For a while now I have been on the hunt for my next great position. Someplace I could make a difference, bring value to the company I work for and mentor and contribute to the development of younger professionals.
It's been a rough, albeit interesting journey. My friend C.C. Chapman summed up how I feel in a recent blog post regarding his quest for the right position: "My path seems to refuse to go straight even for a little while. I’d like to change that."
You see, I'm what some would call an "outside the lines" professional. I have a variety of skills - marketing, media relations, PR, social media marketing, content development and LinkedIn expertise.
While taken as a whole my portfolio of work is considered by most impressive (not bragging, I've been told so), it's sometimes difficult for a hiring manager or recruiter to recognize the value of bringing in someone with a myriad of work experiences.
My frustration is sometimes palatable to others, but most of the time I am upbeat and optimistic. I know that the right company (or agency) with the right position is out there. I just haven't found it - or better put - they haven't found me!
Hiring to a job description is one thing - ticking off the boxes to make sure there is a fit. But hiring to potential, background and range of experiences is something all together different.
It takes a bold company to say: "He's got most of what we're looking for, so let's take a chance."
As I'm a senior practitioner there is always the issue of "too much experience," sometimes code for you're too old or cost too much for us.
Several times I have been told I had too much experience, or I was questioned as to why I would take a Director position when I've been a VP.
All this leads me back to my point: hiring the right person for the job sometimes requires a leap of faith and working outside the lines of a job description.
If what I described is something you've experienced, let me know. I'd love to compare notes.
And to those potential employers: take a chance and step outside the lines. You'd be surprised how many amazing people are available to contribute to your organizations, given the opportunity to do so!
Chuck Hester is the Chief Communications Officer for Big Think Innovation, a business architect consultancy that helps companies plan, grow and build their futures. He is also a LinkedIn trainer and speaker, helping businesses get the most out of LinkedIn, while teaching them how to communicate effectively. Contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help with LinkedIn? Feel free to message Chuck and ask about one-on-one and group LinkedIn Executive Training.