Why Michael Jordan would get a rejection letter | The Fatal Flaw in the Job Description/Resume Process

B2B Lead Generation | A flawed job process

If you read our earlier post More Reasons to Outsource B2B Lead Generation, you saw Job Descriptionthe damning data from LeadershipIQ – lots of new hires fail and many more are so-so at best – and very few are stars.

(CSO Insights found that only 7% of companies said they “excelled” at interviewing and hiring salespeople.)

The bottom line: Companies are doing a good job of hiring mediocre employees and terrible at hiring stars.

I believe the reason for that is the fact we use what I consider to be an antiquated process for finding employees – which has the unintended consequence of eliminating stars – the job description/resume process.

Why doesn’t it work?

The current process, especially with the flood of resumes in a weak economy, caused hiring executives to look for the unblemished candidate – in effect, one with perfect skin, figure, hair etc. After all, with so many candidates, we can be very choosy. Flawed candidates have no chance.

Therein lies the problem.

Failure is a hallmark of all very successful people. Superstars are risk takers – so they fail a lot, but succeed beyond wildest dreams. But our antiqued process prevents us from hiring stars.

Let’s look at hypothetical case to illustrate:

Star Basketball Player Needed for Company Team
Young 15-22 year old needed to play for company basketball team. Must be great shooter with unblemished record.

We post a job to Linkedin and receive hundreds of resumes from you, aspiring basketball players. We sit down and start going through the pile. It takes hours.

As we look at resume after resume of great players, one catches our eye for a moment. This kid scores a lot of points and his teams win. But upon closer examination, we notice that he was cut from his high school team. So we throw it in the discard pile. Must be something wrong with him – he was “fired” by a coach. (No one hires someone “fired” by a prior manager, do they?)

The kid in the Discard pile we just threw out is Michael Jordanthe greatest basketball player in history. When Michael Jordan was 16 years old, he was cut from his high school basketball team. In hindsight, it was the best thing that ever happened to him, as he worked twice as hard to become the best of all time. Failure helped him.Michael Jordan

The key point: Flawed candidates are often the best, but our antiquated process is designed to weed them out.

If the job description/resume process fails to uncover stars, what can we do instead?

Here are my three tips to uncover superstars of tomorrow:

  1. Look well beyond the resume
    Recommendations on Linkedin. Blog articles they wrote. Content they created. Run their Twitter and blog through Grader.com – a free evaluation tool from Hubspot.
  2. Search for fast failure with bounce-back
    Look for cases where they encountered a difficult situation and bounced back. Stars fail because they are courageous enough to take risks. And industry studies have shown that personality traits, such as coachability and ability to work well with others, is far more important than industry experience.
  3. Evaluate their overall online presence
    Google their name. Today, executives need a strong online presence. Should not be hard at all to find them. Are they on social networks, do they write a blog, do they have recommendations?

What do you think? Do you have other ideas on how companies can uncover stars of tomorrow? We love comments and those who share.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancy Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

How to Find New Customers is the simple guide to B2B demand generation.

“If more companies listened to (Find New Customers) a lot more would be sold.” Dan McDade, Pointclear.

2 thoughts on “Why Michael Jordan would get a rejection letter | The Fatal Flaw in the Job Description/Resume Process

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