Not your typical Gen Y "what's in it for me?" candidate.....

I'm introducing a candidate to my client this morning. (Yes - I do have clients. In fact it was 2 days ago my phone rang with my client on the other line. We hadn't spoken in a while but he keeps my number in his cell phone and doesn't call anybody else. But that's not the topic today......

We often hear from our clients the need for "character, motivation and taking ownership" among many other somewhat vague qualifications. Typically it's hard to nail those qualities down with your average applicant. In this case - his achievements in his personal life set him head and shoulders above anyone else we're looking at. I thought I would share:

Among the many qualifications this kid brings to the table above and beyond his 1.5 years of hands-on experience and 3.98 GPA have me thinking a bit.

He is an Eagle Scout.

He volunteered to coach for Special Olympics.

He led a Habitat for Humanity project over spring break in 2005. (Rather than spend his week in a drunken stupor on South Padre Island competing in keg stand competitions.)

He's been on several missions trips.

He spends his spare time playing piano and singing at nursing homes (which he has done since 2002)

Working with this guy has given me a fresh look at how hard it really is to stand out. And he does! I can tell he isn't the typical Gen Y "what's in it for me" type. I'm doubting he had much time to waste on the couch with his eyes glued to some Xbox game.

As the father of 3 myself, I'm sure this guy's parents are proud of the leadership they must have shown him. He is on the right track. I just might give them a call and let them know they've done a great job!

Views: 277

Comment by pam claughton on October 23, 2010 at 12:33pm
I liked this story too, and a key part here is that Jerry's not just talking about a great resume, he interviewed this person and clearly was as impressed by the individual as well. Seems like a great, well rounded person that any recruiter should be proud to represent. Hope this results in a great placement! :)
Comment by Ali Webster on October 25, 2010 at 11:51am
I'll band with the Witches of & mention that this scenario reminds me of DATING. Just because he/she looks good on paper, does not necessarily mean they're a "good fit." :)
Comment by Jerry Albright on October 25, 2010 at 12:10pm
So to try getting my mind around the replies here - am I to assume that someone with a track record of accomplishments, academic success and community involvement is no longer a candidate to be impressed with?

Even more - should I really consider them to be hiding some deeper, darker side?

I'm not buying it. But let's say I was. How should I now screen candidates for a client who is looking for someone who did well in school, has some sort of "reasonable character" and will work well with others?

All this hype about recruiters identifying "cultural" fits - how is that to be done? if we are discounting achievements outside of the workplace and assuming all good points on resumes are really an attempt to cover up a sordid past of porn addiction and mischief - where are we to begin?

I'm all ears ladies......
Comment by Maureen Sharib on October 25, 2010 at 1:13pm
I'm flyin' in on my broomstick for this one. I hope I'm the first to land; I see the other two circling...

I don't think anyone's saying he's a bad person - I think more to the point what is being said here is another saying I'm sure you've heard, "All that glitters is not gold."

SisterWitch Rayanne made a point about someone who would push all the good stuff to the forefront.

SisterWitch Sandra was the first to reach into her Witch Brew of a memory and pull back some hard-learned lessons.

Me - I just reported on a real-life scenario of character duplicity I've been blessed to be able to watch ringside here in Sinsinnati all my life.

But then, what do we know?

To address your question, though, Jer, and a wonderful and astute question it is.

How do we assess character? I think that's the crux of the matter.

I hope @Levy_Recruits materializes in a puff of smoke on this one. We could use his sage advice.
Comment by Maureen Sharib on October 25, 2010 at 1:16pm
Dang. Rayanne beat me to the landing pad.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on October 25, 2010 at 1:22pm
I would do some digging as to his motivation and mind set, what he found personally fulfilling about what he has been involved in outside of the workplace. His priorities as it relates to work and volunteer activities. ie' given a situation where he is committed to a volunteer project that is very important to him, his boss walks in and says, "Sorry guys but we just had a crash with a client, i need everybody to work late tonight." How would he handle it, would he cancel the volunteer project at the last minute or would he tell his boss that he could not stay late because he had committed to play the piano at church or a nursing home that evening?

References checked in terms of making a comment to his reference that he appears to be a very impressive young person, very involved in his church and doing a lot of good things. Has that ever been a problem in the workplace or interferred with his job or caused any concern with his peers.

In hindsight with the one i had when i checked his references there were slight nuances that i should have picked up on. Such as, "He needs to be kept challenged or his attention tends to wander a bit."

I have learned that when a candidate seems almost too perfect it's time to really dig. He may be a paragon of virture and exactly what your client is looking for but i have never met anyone who didn't have a few quirks or negatives. If they are minor you may have exactly what your client wants. If it seems too perfect look for the negatives and evaluate the balance.
Comment by Steve Levy on October 25, 2010 at 3:30pm
When I think of character, I think of people like SSG. Sal Giunta who was recently awarded the Medal of Honor; every other definition of "character" sort of rolls downhill from there. But this is MY standard.

When I receive great customer service, I like to call the person's boss and tell them? It's simple - so few do (why so few do this requires far more time to write about it and I'm just too darn busy now). Now I might not call the parents of someone who is clearly different but then again I just might - maybe I can do work for them or recruit them. ;)

Don't know why some here assumed that all Jerry did was send someone over because they had nice things on their resume; pretty sure Albright vetted them - great tasting cake but the icing on top was divine, right Jer?

The point here is that while many Gen-Ys are Gen-Whiners, there are many who aren't; the role of the recruiter is not only to assess skills but to point out to the client what might be value-adds.

You do that, don't you?
Comment by Ragan Kellams on October 25, 2010 at 5:03pm
I personally, when evaluating resumes, have started looking for the worst possible attributes in people, at least then, if they have them on their resume, you know they are at the very least honest. You can only go up from there! :)-
Comment by Jerry Albright on October 25, 2010 at 7:37pm
This is starting to enter Bizarro World. Who would have thought a thread about a nice guy with solid credentials - standing out from the crowd of 20-somethings would generate these kinds of replies.

While I am always up for a good back-and-forth.....I'm at a loss on this one. So for the couple of folks who could see what I was getting at with this one - THANKS!
Comment by ryan morphett on October 25, 2010 at 7:54pm
mmmm curious Rayanne and Sandra
Cautionary or Cynical?
A person who appears to be a good person cannot be?
They have to have a dark side?


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