Biting Point

Rene Carayol

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Respected broadcaster and business guru René Carayol reveals that attitude may now be the key factor when it comes to recruitment.

The world of recruitment is changing. Gone are the ‘job for life’ days where people would learn a skill, get promoted through the ranks and stay loyal to one employer throughout their career.

Decision makers and managers used to look at CVs with 5 jobs on them in 10 years and immediately label the candidates ‘butterflies’.

But things move on.

More often than not, the finest careers are now a series of related AND unrelated roles that show off the previously unvalued qualities of being willing to try things out, take risks and call upon as many different experiences as possible.

The aspect that has slowly dawned on the business world is that the hungriest to succeed are almost certainly not ‘lifers’ anymore. Whereas in the old days we hired mainly on skills, the companies that now keep their noses ahead of the chasing pack hire attitude. In fact, the pendulum has started to swing so much that it is becoming more and more apparent that its harder to ‘unlearn’ individuals that have been in jobs for 20 years than it is to develop new skills in those that have the fire and the desire to be the best. After all, a person with a bad attitude and lazy work ethic will always be like that — regardless of how many skills and qualifications they have.

Just look at the turnaround at Apple. They have a hugely enviable market position, brand, company ethos and innovative reputation. And when it comes to finding new employees they rip up the conventional CV-based wisdom and hire those that will fit into their culture.

The world class training establishments that they have developed to complement this approach in turn develops their new blood into the finished article.

The trick is to employ people that are better than you. But to do this means having the necessary confidence and self-belief that are integral traits of any great, inspired leader. B grade leaders and managers will hire C level employees and C grade managers will hire D level employees.

This makes sure that the managers always appear to be better than everyone else.

The real difference comes with A grade leaders. They employ the very best A* candidates – the ones that will go on and do better than them and take their business up another level in the future.

Be bold.

René’S Rules

Hire With Fire and get the people on your team that really ‘want it’ the most. Finding those people can be hard, so here are René’s rules for spotting the people with the right drive to really make a difference:

  1. Take a huge risk and do what the Americans have been doing for ages — remove marital status, educational history, addresses and lifestyle choices from CVs and applications forms. In other words, remove anything that could potentially bias your opinion for the wrong reasons BEFORE meeting a candidate and judge everyone on their merits alone.
  2. Allow yourself to get excited by those who are passionate from the outset about potentially becoming part of your project. Those who are genuinely enthusiastic at the start are likely to be that way on a day to day basis. It’s hard to train enthusiasm and its effects on the team can be intoxicating.
  3. Try not to hire someone just because they look like you, worship like you, went to a similar college or support the same football team as you. The best teams are made of difference and diversity — NOT homogeneity. Remember, it’s easy to surround yourself with like-minded individuals and take the path of least resistance. But the most successful organisations have teams that challenge, question and don’t fall into comfortable routines.
  4. Get the scary people in who shake things up. We all need a critical friend (but not too many of them!) that keeps us on our toes and ultimately brings the best out in us. The very best working environments give employees the space to dare to be different.
  5. Look at the team as a whole. Pinpoint where the weaknesses are and try to cover all angles. Accept that people have strong points and weak points and instead of focusing on improving their weak points, use them to the best of their abilities and make sure the next person you employ has the traits to cover the weaknesses.


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Rene Carayol

René Carayol

Take one outgoing Prime Minister with an unquestioned flair, a natural charisma and the confidence to make radical decisions. Add his successor, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer; a man with a dour public persona and a history of taking the cautious path.
The equation doesn?t immediately point to a new era of British politics in which risk is once again embraced instead of being talked about dismissively as yet another four-letter word.