Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out – Free your mind when hiring

Grovelands’ co-founder David Leen explains why it’s important to free your mind when hiring, and to push the boundaries out.

a view of blue sky with white clouds through a brown cardboard box I recently I went to see the critically acclaimed film ‘Love & Mercy’, a movie about my all-time hero Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. He was already an accomplished song-writer when he got into the counter-culture of the late 1960s, this resulted in him pushing the boundaries in the next two years and producing two of the greatest albums of all time, Pet Sounds and SMiLE. In a tenuous but not completely unrelated link, I met a firm last week who are looking to build a new team of Compliance Monitoring Specialists, we spent some time looking at how and where we would identify these people. It was clear that they really wanted people from their nearest and dearest competitors, this presented a problem as I knew they wouldn’t be able to find many, if any experienced people. We needed to push the boundaries out.

I took out a piece of paper and drew a series of concentric circles and dropped in the middle the names of their 4 biggest competitors. I then asked them to think about other firms or complimentary markets, they would consider people from, I wrote a series of names into the next circle. Lastly I asked them to think that if they couldn’t find people in these first two circles, where would they (reluctantly) look. I suggested we look at all three areas straight away. Have a look at ‘David’s Concentric Circle #1’.

I then asked them to think about candidates and the likelihood of finding exact matches i.e. a lateral move (which generally results in pay inflation) I then asked them to think of the next circle and individuals who would be looking at a progressive move or promotion and the last circle, candidates looking at a change of direction or a step down. See ‘David’s Concentric Circle #2’. We again agreed to look at individuals from all three circles.

Now this is the part of my blog where I tell you we developed several wonderful shortlists and made numerous hires but I can’t, not yet, but ask me in a couple of months and I will tell you whether we made the hires through this approach.

Now will you free your mind and push the boundaries out, or keep hiring from the same pot?

– David Leen

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