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Do they want a job – really?

A friend was telling me today that he met a young man who queued for two hours to apply for a job at a new supermarket. This young man was amazed that people behind him in the queue, who also waited two hours, were in torn singlets and barefeet. “Were they serious?”, he asked.

I have been amazed myself at the non-chalant attitude I have struck when handling recruitment for my clients. A recent experience was a young woman apparently very keen on the role, only to phone 15 minutes before her interview to advise that she had forgotten she had a medical appointment. We rescheduled and interviewed her. To be honest she was a good fit for the role but after waiting a week for her to get back with her referee information we gave the role to someone else. I’m sure anyone who has recruited for long can come up with their own stories.

So do these people really want a job? I believe they do. I just think they haven’t made the conceptual connections between their own behaviour and their likelihood of getting a job. Call it lack of maturity or self-centredness. Either way, it’s a lack of thinking.

It is similar to people in organisations who do things that are completely the opposite of what needs to be done for that organisation to achieve its strategies. Somehow they don’t make the connection between their day to day decisions and processes, and the longer term outcomes for the organisation.

It’s really important to develop strategical savvy, so that you can make those linkages and show to your boss that you understand the impact you have on her/his bottom line and strategic success.

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