So it seems like a long time ago that I had long hair and wore tracksuits rather than suits! But one thing has not changed and that’s my personality. I’m still caring, generous, gregarious, always try to carry a smile and of course very modest!!! Lol 😉
So really, on a serious note, would you hire this guy?
When this photo was taken I was in college and working some evenings at British Gas doing data entry. On one of my half days we all went into Cardiff City Centre to catch up with some friends and as we hung out in a street in Cardiff, I sat against the wall with my friends around me. I man who was working on building the now magnificent ‘Millennium Stadium’, walked past and started to berate me, telling me I should just get a job. So as you can imagine with my youthful energy and passion I gave him my direct point of view on these comments. However he just walked away and probably for the best as he was a foot taller and wider than me!
My youth existed during a period where my views and opinions were shaped by the music, culture and influences of that time. Films like ‘Boyz in the Hood’ and ‘Menace 2 Society’ gave me a view into the challenging life of young black people growing up in the aggressive, impoverished streets of America. This then naturally came to influence the way I dressed and the way I thought about life and society. Not just in the inequality of life on the streets of America, but also here in the UK. That gave me a purpose and a passion to have a positive impact on the world, which wouldn’t be defined by how I looked, or how I spoke, but on my actions.
What is it that motivates somebody to make such a judgment of an individual in a millisecond and allow it to influence positively or negatively in the way that they engage with them? Can any of us say we absolutely never do this. Now in this situation I actually feel this guy was a bigot and had no place in treating another human being in that way. But do we all do it to a greater or lesser extent, even if not as direct and offensive as the man in question?
So why do I now look at that picture and wonder would I hire that guy if he came to me today for an interview! What would I think and how would I respond?
Well I’d hope I’d judge him on his ability to do the job I require him to do. I’d like to think after spending time with him I’d see he’s a genuine guy who has particular personal interests like anybody else. Maybe I would even spot the fact he could bring personality and potential lateral thinking to the role I’m hiring for.
Now when I interview candidates these days, I’m normally doing it to assess them for my team or department. I’m not going to judge them on where they’ve come from, what music they listen to or who they may or may not pray to. Actually I just want to know, are they right for the job and can I get the best out of them through supporting, coaching and mentoring, and can they bring the best out of me?
This has indeed allowed me to work with teams of fantastic, quirky, interesting, culturally diverse people who make my working life as interesting and rewarding as my personal life.
So I ask you again: would you hire this guy? Or more importantly, would you give him the chance he deserves to share his story… before already making your mind up?
Theo Smith has been a successful International Head-Hunter and Global Account Manager for some of the most successful and progressive conglomerates in the world. After spending several years as a professional actor delivering workshops and lectures to young people on critical youth issues, such as gang culture, drink and drugs and employment, Theo has carved out a career in business, sales, marketing and recruitment.
He now writes professional blogs, speaks at company, charity and industry events and still works in a challenging recruitment role within TMP Worldwide, a resourcing business that helps organisations hire and retain the right people by leveraging their employer brands. “We focus on brand led direct resourcing, which puts the employer brand at the heart of the resourcing process”.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are purely my personal opinions and not in any way affiliated to organisations of which I am part, or for whom I have worked in the past. Any issues with any of the content used in this post, should be directed to the author firstname.lastname@example.org.