How this ‘Moment’ will forever brand you

I was interviewed a few weeks before Covid-19 became a pandemic. The topic was “Keep you Hiring Funnel Overflowing in 2020 & Beyond” and I broke up a few of the major themes from the podcast into separate posts to elaborate even more. What I’m trying to center on is whether, in the matter of only a month, the content aged poorly in a matter of 45 days. More importantly, do the themes apply to today’s current landscape. Let’s take a look at some of the themes and see how many (if at all) apply to the current Covid-19 world.

Why a Network First Mindset Always Wins

This theme focused on how you should always seek to be of value to your network. With time and consistency, your network will start to do the same in return. In the podcast, the concept focused on ensuring you find appropriate connections of value within your network at all times so that you make new connections in return that will help you get introduced to the right candidates.

How this applies to the current Covid-19 World:

If there’s one thing to focus on right now it is just this concept. Ensuring everyone within your inner network is met with an opportunity for you to present value is more crucial than ever before. I’ve seen countless people extend themselves and their business offerings in this time of need without any reciprocity. I’ve also seen the opposite, where some people are seeking to take advantage of the current state and promote their needs without offering much in return.

If there’s any silver lining to this pandemic it’s shown how much closer we can become while we become further, physically, apart. Going through the same chaos has, in turn, brought us closer together and truly shown the human spirit is resilient. It’s also shown the need to be connected to one another and how a network-first mindset is really the only appropriate one in light of everything that’s going on.

‘CALL TO ACTIONS’ SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

This theme focused on how a company’s brand is truly important in attracting the right people. When you pop on a website and you’re inundated with demo requests, pop-ups, forms to fill out and screen takeovers before you can actually consume the content or what the company is about, you’re hit over the head with a “used car lot” experience. It says that before presenting you with anything, you’re asked to jump into their sales funnel to make a purchasing decision.

How this applies to the current Covid-19 World:

Who you are as a business and what you value is on full blast right now. Companies pivoting their business models to respond to the current pandemic shows everyone what your values truly are. There are other businesses that are forced to make tough decisions like lay-offs and furloughs, which puts even more people in difficult situations. The important point here is not what you have to do but how you do it. It matters if you make your employees feel like humans and not numbers as you lay them off, take the time to understand that this time will pass and when it does, your actions as a company will come to light. I’m not saying that companies are inherently evil if they have to lay people off, I understand that this is the reality of the world today, but if you treat your people like they’re expendable and without heart, this will certainly bite back when you need them again.

WHY DEPENDING ON THE REFERRAL WAGON WHEEL IS DANGEROUS

This theme focused on two things:

  1. How depending on referrals does not equal to a diverse and multifaceted team.
  2. Look for potential in your candidates rather than if they’ve done the same thing in the past.

Diversity is incredibly valuable in understanding different ways to tackle problems. Any team that has their identity firmly rooted in many perspectives will outperform those with only a few. Don’t just focus on race and gender but also personality types as well. The other added benefit is that a diverse culture will offer multiple perspectives and end up improving every team member’s growth both personally and professionally. This creates a loyal team that bands together through good times and tough ones.

Hiring for potential over experience is a personal mantra of mine. It’s harder on the interviewer to look for signs of potential outcomes than actual outcomes but I’m telling you, this pays off in the long haul. I’m not saying hire an entry-level salesperson to take on an Enterprise AE role, but I am saying that don’t limit yourself as a hiring authority that focuses on industry, role, and experience exclusively for your hire. As an example, if you’re looking for an Enterprise AE in MarTech, try opening up the search to candidates that come from a different, but similar industry with experience as an Enterprise AE. The reason is simple, if you give someone a chance, they will outperform your safe decisions and if you only stick with safe decisions your competition will lap you.

How this applies to the current Covid-19 World:

Look, there are more candidates on the market today than there were when I did this podcast and surely, many of them have some incredible experience to do the job. In this time they will perform, but I question how long they will be interested in doing the same thing they’ve been doing for years when the economy bounces back and more options start to resurface.

Final thoughts:

I was unsure of the outcome of the exercise when I started this post, but in writing this, it becomes obvious that staying true to your principles can guide you through the toughest of times. Your values are your compass when it seems you’re lost in a dark forest without a glimmer of light showing you the way out. How do we get through this together? Stay connected, focused on improving yourself as well as others and solidify your brand in the process. We’re in a moment of time but how you act during this time will define you when we get through it.

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