That Wild Card Hire

If you have been recruiting for very long, you may have made what I affectionately refer to as a “wild card” hire.

This is a candidate who does not check all the boxes in the job posting or job description.  However, what they possess resonates with you at an intuitive level.  Your gut tells you they have the intellect, passion, motivation and behavior to learn and succeed in the role.

Do you do it? Or are you still checking boxes?

Let me share some personal experience.

I have made the wild card hire.  Most of the time, it works out.  Some of the time, it is a miserable experience.  If you make a wild card hire, you need to be prepared for the following to ensure success:

  1. Patience, time and training.
  2. Follow-up to reinforce skills and knowledge taught.
  3. Professional development – pay for them to grow with outside courses or education.
  4. Fun – because they don’t know what they don’t know, some of the learning experience will be fun for you as the leader, sharing your knowledge and experience with someone who has no pre-conceived ideas about how things should be.

In today’s challenging job market, if the obvious candidate with the boxes checked is not sitting in front of you, maybe you need to consider that wild card hire.

Written by Blog Contributor: Pamela Watkins