POTENTIAL MATTERS: EXPLORERS VS. TREE-HUGGERS


The baby bunny featured in this picture, is Marco Polo.  I gave him this name because he was the first of three baby bunnies born in our back yard who ventured out into the world beyond his rabbit hole.

How this relates to recruiting is that some candidates we evaluate for employment opportunities are born Explorers like my Marco Polo, and some are Tree-Huggers.  Explorers are willing to leave the nest--their comfort zone near family, friends, and familiar places (stomping grounds)—for better job opportunities.  The Tree-Huggers are attached to family, friends, and familiar places (stomping grounds)—and will pass on better job opportunities. And if they do leave all those things, they will eventually return to them.

Distinguishing between these two types can make a big difference in terms of finding the best candidate with great qualifications and the best candidate with great qualifications AND great potential.  Potential here I define as the proclivity to be open to relocate in the future as one’s career presents new opportunities that may require a physical move for a job promotion, for example. 

Employers highly value relocatable employees for many reasons.  Chief among them is getting a continual return on their investment from a top performing employee.  This return is magnified for managerial and senior managers.  And if they are a global company—their growth and competitive positioning rests on the shoulders of strategically developed and positioned leaders—who can and will move on to a new assignment/facility.  In field sales it almost mandatory to require of a selected candidate the willingness to be ready to move to another location in need of development.

Now the proclivity to move can be diminished when employees get married, get involved, have children, etc.  But those with the Marco Polo gene will uproot more often than not, for a valued, hard earned promotional opportunity. 

How do you determine if your candidates are Explorers or Tree-Huggers?  To look at my Marco Polo you would never know it—that he was an Explorer.  But when I measured his daily progress away from his rabbit hole, compared to his brothers and sisters—his actions proved to me he was Marco Polo.

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