Today I had the chance to do one of my favorite things…go to the other end of the hiring specturm and provide a reference for a former employee named Melissa whom I truly admire and believe in.

During the conversation with the hiring manager, who was the president and co-founder of a small company making a significant investment in this applicant, he said something that struck me as worth sharing.

He said that out of the over 100 resumes he had viewed, there were plenty that had better “pedigrees” than the applicant, but in speaking with her, none were even close to her grit. I couldn’t agree more, and kudos to him for having the keen eye and the will to keep looking until he found what he wanted.

That kind of sense for people is probably a big reason why his company has been successful for over a decade and why they are in a position to expand in a significant way, with my former employee at the helm of the effort.

The flip side of the grit commentary is that Melissa combines her grit with an unusual grace as well. She’s like a high quality emery board with rough grit on one side and a smoother surface on the other to finish things off just right. As we both heartily agreed, you can’t teach character. Add to that extreme acumen and that is what makes a wining proposition.

Give me someone like that over a great pedigree any day!

(And give me more hiring managers who don’t get fooled by smooth packaging on the surface!)

Views: 266

Comment by Tim Spagnola on October 14, 2011 at 11:16am

A great story Jeff. Nice to see someone go a bit beyond what is on paper to get a real feel. I agree with you 100% in that you can't teach character. Kudos for the hiring manager for recognizing that as well.

Comment by Jeff Baumgarten on October 14, 2011 at 11:49am

Thanks Tim. It takes time to learn that read between the lines to even get that person in to see the grit!

Comment by lisa rokusek on October 14, 2011 at 2:25pm

Gritty grace is the best!

Comment by Jeff Baumgarten on October 14, 2011 at 3:20pm

Well put, Lisa, thanks for the feedback!


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