Hahaha… I love this topic, it is onus to me and why?
Because each time I apply for a job I am refused no matter how much I fit into many holes and could probably save the organization tons of monthly salaries, incentives and bonuses, simply because they have limited beliefs and visions. I do this as a test most of the time and 99% of the outcome I predict and I am hardly wrong.
When you have no box then it’s difficult to communicate with someone that is in the box and the lid is closed, without being disrespectful and I can almost tear my hair out when I find an excellent opportunity, where I know I will add huge value and where the employer does not comprehend the significance of the value that I can create. Most Human Resource Managers or Executive Managers facilitating interviews have similar mindsets, i.e. “we need an individual specifically qualified and experienced in ‘x’ industry or segment and we are not negotiable”. Forget that the short-listed candidates are probably more prone to theory than practical, especially in the educational sector.
Then you find an opportunity to create something from grassroots, you find an entrepreneur with all the experience and knowledge, who has been on the ground building successful businesses but perhaps does not have 100% insight into the industry sector. Then you have a candidate who is totally academic, has worked for a salary all of their career but has no clue about building a business from scratch.
So who is the most suited candidate? I will give you 1 guess! Absolutely the academic.
Over the latter years I have encountered a few entrepreneurs who wanted to transition back into the corporate world and most of the reasons are justifiable, along the lines of:
1) It’s tough to survive out there if you are not regularly commissioned for assignments or contracts no matter how experienced and connected you are, everyone wants everything at a fraction of the price. That’s right, the boom days are over folks, it’s really a hard long road if your bucket just falls out and unless you have had a very long-term plan, then it’s even more tough, especially if you have a family. There are very few countries that still holds the power of money and we in the UAE are fortunate that we are in a plum position, because we are working towards the next huge event the Expo 2020, so good things are in the pipeline and the power of money is still here more than anywhere else in the world that I know.
2) Maybe the entrepreneur has done his stint and now opts to give back, share his knowledge and experience because this was a part of his philanthropic path as his final vocation.
There could be more reasons but the hard cold facts are that people in jobs don’t have a clue about an entrepreneurial journey, the substance it takes, the working hours, commitment, dedication, absolute focus on achieving the deliverables, goals and objectives as you are working for yourself, you generate your own income, you dictate the standard of your lifestyle and so you must be innovative, creative and to a large degree a visionary because sometimes you must acquire the instant ability to create something tangible out of nothing and make it work.
Now if I was a normal run of the mill employee who just applied for a new opportunity then I don’t have a clue of what that substance is and I may have ideas, knowledge and experience but I am still confined to my way of thinking so, unlike my entrepreneurial counterpart, I am incapable of creating extremely unique business entities as I have not walked the walk.
Here lies the distinguishing factor….
Why do you have to appoint a banker to initiate a new entity in a remote location to serve different client needs that is unique and perhaps never done before when you also interviewed an entrepreneur with sound banking experience but he has gone off at some stage on an entrepreneur path. As an experienced banker you never lose the fundamentals of banking you only need a few weeks maximum 2 weeks to get to grips with the processes and the rest falls into place. I say so because senior management is about delegation, advancement, managing staff, formulating strategies so if I was the entrepreneurial candidate, then I don’t need to know the intricacies when I have people appointed who know. I only need to know how to get the entity off the ground, formulate policies, organizational structures, strategies etc and the rest is history because as an entrepreneur I learn’t how to swim in the deep end and that never leaves you, neither does the ability to achieve targets or goals.
Traditional norms of placing people into the same boxes are long gone as I said, the world has shifted its paradigm so employers and HR Managers must learn to acquire this visionary acumen to see the big picture and not lose the gold that so often is sent away in a flash because they are immediately labelled perhaps as a risk, or not an exact match. What makes you assume that the candidate you chose is an exact match?
There are serious traits that must be reviewed and not assessed as intangible value as the entrepreneur will surely replace up to 3 additional staff as they work harder, they have learn’t the value of achieving, they appreciate and respect being appointed and in most instances, value their remuneration more than someone who takes it for granted because they have learn’t the hard way.
When an entrepreneur crosses your path, willing to support your organization then don’t look the other way as you have no idea what immeasurable value most of them can contribute and many of them are heart people, sincere, they learned to give and to receive under the most difficult circumstances and so they are not ‘aliens’ or ‘misfits’ or ‘a threat to take your job and replace you’, quite the contrary.
Just know here and now that many have held very senior positions even before they started their businesses, and then in their businesses they were the owners, CEO’s, MD’s so they have absolutely no inclination to have your job as they have been there. Their sole mission is to get involved and give back most of the time.
So next time an experienced well profiled entrepreneur CV crosses your desk, give it a second review before you make a decision, as you could be making a wrong choice, perhaps detrimental to your company if you lose this GOLD.