Why Taking Risks Benefits Employers and Job Candidates

Karen FinanI recently attended a Leadership NKY session, sponsored by the Zalla Corporation, where the speaker was Todd Henry, author of the books Louder Than Words and The Accidental Creative. Henry stressed the need to find your authentic voice - your own body of work - to achieve impact. Three drivers, your Identity, Vision, and Mastery, work together to fuel the discovery and use of your authentic voice. Henry asserted that a defined sense of identity leads to a refined vision and the confidence and motivation to master new skills According to the author, you first must "identify what you truly stand for, develop a clear vision, and learn to express your ideas effectively in your medium of choice." A clear voice results in more impact and true satisfaction with your work. Individuals need to take themselves out of a comfort zone to work through this process, but many often hold back on new opportunities (which may look like a risk) due to fear or inertia. There is a very clear connection between Henry's ideas and today's talent environment as we actively witness the speed of the market. Top candidates often consider multiple offers and move quickly toward companies matching their career aspirations. These candidates are willing to take the risk of a new position that may stretch their career, develop new skills, and provide unique life experiences. They come to market having invested time in their careers as well as progressive certifications and/or education and they understand their value proposition to prospective employers. But taking risks also applies to employers. Many organizations get caught up in checking qualification boxes and fail to notice a stellar candidate with strong transferable skills. A candidate with vision alone likely won't make the cut, but a candidate with strong vision, exceptional interpersonal skills, a strategic mindset, and a history of results in related areas might be exactly the individual to move an organization forward. Hiring an employee who resembles those already in the organization often results in more of the same. But for organizations that want to shift their culture, broaden their focus, or modernize their workplace, the right leader for the job might not appear to be a perfect fit on paper. Today's hiring environment is aggressive, time consuming, and pro-candidate. Employees who continue to grow throughout their career and continually invest in themselves can expect to land in the right place - no matter the environment. And organizations willing to take a chance on strong candidates, even if they don't meet all the hard skills listed in the job description, will find themselves stronger in the long term. Karen Finan is a Partner at Gilman Partners LLC, responsible for building new relationships with regional companies in search of mid-to senior-level talent. She also runs the Commercial Real Estate practice inclusive of Economic Development and Construction. Fortified with extensive background in a variety of industries, Karen led new economic development efforts at Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation with 45 relocations/expansions at the national level. She previously directed national marketing and new business efforts at Duke Realty Corporation and Duke Construction.

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