Job Advice

It’s Like Riding a Bike…

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August 30, 2011

My son decided this weekend that it was high time he learned how to ride his two-wheeler by himself. Of course, I simply could not help but apply the whole process to my past experiences with adding enthusiastic staff members to my recruiting teams. Here is how my son learned to ride his bike in three simple (not really) steps:

First: He learned to ride the less intimidating version of the two-wheel bicycle…the scooter. He got pretty good at it and learned how to balance on two wheels.

Second: Our neighbor, who happens to be about 2 years younger than my son and quite the dare devil, came whizzing by on his two wheeler. Amazing how much a little competition and an example can get one motivated.

Third: I invested in a fancy tool to assist in the process of helping him to learn how to ride his bike without breaking my back. After the long process of installing said tool, he got on his bike, told me not to hold him, and took off.

End of story. He now has his sights set on the Tour De France.

Now, I am sure you are looking for the promised application of this experience to new staff members in this industry. How do they learn how to be successful in the business?

First: Let them start out mastering the most basic tools in the business. Building customer relationships through interaction, learning how to engage prospective clients and candidates, taking responsibility for basic quality service delivery, set expectations and measure them regularly. Start on the scooter, learn to balance.

Second: Let them watch someone else who has already mastered the skills needed to be successful. Set a good example and they will follow. Set a bad example and they will follow that one too, just to remind you.

Third: Invest in as many fancy tools as you feel you need and then watch them be successful by just using their confidence and sheer will to be successful. If they do not possess the fundamental will to succeed and the confidence to get there, your state of the art tools are simply expensive training wheels.

Now, don’t forget the protective gear, as your prodigy is sure to crash from time to time, but remember that this is all part of the learning process and with the proper guidance, they will get right back on the bike and ride off into the sunset.