Help Wanted: Must Have Brain, Heart and Courage

Help Wanted: Must Have Brain, Heart and Courage
Help Wanted: Must Have Brain, Heart and Courage

So we continue to have over 14 million ready-to-work Americans walking the streets, a number equal to the entire populations of Guatemala or Mali. With the prospect of economic doldrums continuing until further notice, maybe they should just get together and start their own country. Actually, it’s starting to look like they are moving in that direction, and who can blame them?

In the meantime, the lives of Quiet Desperation are clocking away the hours in the HR departments across the country, as the Winged Monkeys in the back room electronically file resumes of unqualified applicants all day long while they are unable to fill millions of open positions.

What are today’s hiring managers looking for at the executive level? Is there a secret formula to follow that results in one highly qualified executive getting hired today, while someone with a greater pedigree and a more impressive history of accomplishments languishes for another year before finding a new job?

It’s become a well-worn cliché that people hire those they know, like and trust, but we at The Barrett Group www.careerchange.com regularly see another trend that bucks the conventional wisdom, and Dorothy bore witness to the list of most desired attributes requirement during her famous journey).

When looking outside their network, savvy hiring managers still look for the same basic skills held in value so many years ago: a heart, a brain and courage.

Admittedly, they rarely use those words in job descriptions, but, when you think about it (you’ll need, of course, that brain thing), if you needed to hire someone to be at the epicenter of corporate activity after you’ve left the room (or country, nowadays), you would need to be confident that they will do when push comes to shove, as it regularly does. Will they:

  1. make a smart decision;
  2. consider all the ramifications (financial, legal, internal/external reputation, reflecting the company’s mission);
  3. be honest and transparent while balancing discretion and politics;
  4. have what it takes to go ahead and make it happen should you not be available for hand holding and devil’s advocate role playing?

If you’re looking for a new or better job, you might consider whether you are fully transmitting your ability to be that perfect person to those agonizing over finding that Wizard who can solve all those problems on that laptop over there.

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