How much do you trust someone that speaks ill of others all the time?
Updated: May 7
Have you ever been around someone who had nothing good to say about anyone? Not a very attractive quality is it? In my professional recruiting days, I took pride in presenting three excellent candidates to the client that I vetted thoroughly on a specific criteria to include some of the following:
1) Do they have the background, education and skills to do the job?
2) Do their career goals match the position?
3) Do they fit the culture of the company?
4) Will they truly be an asset to the company?
5) Will the salary offered, fit into the salary expectations of the candidate?
So as a career broker, my job was to make sure that I found three candidates that would be happy in the job and that the hiring manager would be happy to offer the position.
I was very proud of my track record in the recruiting industry. I averaged an increase in compensation of about 30% for my candidates. 90% of my candidates have stayed at the same company for more than five years and have progressed in their career. How was I able to do this? I kissed a lot of frogs. I interviewed probably 50 candidates to get to the three that would fit. And this was back in the day where we did old school recruiting - referrals from referrals - people who knew people. We did NOT have online resumes to search through. Monster.com was just getting started. We were old school.
So what's the point in all this background? Well eventually we would get around to why they were open to leaving their company and why they left their previous positions on their resume. The answers to these questions told me everything about them. In general I found two types of candidates: the ones that talked positive about the next opportunity and they were generally grateful for the things they learned in their previous company; and the ones that talked about how they were treated unfairly and had nothing good to say about anyone or any experience about the company they moved from.
It always came down to a someone's general attitude about life. Some people look at how life dealt them a bad set of cards and other people look at life's twists and turns as a learning experience, all there for them to grow and become better. I've found my best candidates took responsibility for where they are in life and where they are going. The candidates that I would not work with were the ones that blamed everything else for their lot in life and never took responsibility for their failures.
So as you are looking for that next great opportunity in your career, how do you answer that question when posed to you? Can you explain your career path in a positive light or do you talk about how each manager you worked with was out to get you?
The tables can also be turned the other way as well. Is that general agent you are interviewing with talking ill of other companies or marketing groups to make their opportunity look great? Or do they represent their program as it stands on it's own?
It amazes me how much energy other people spend on the internet or YouTube putting others down to make themselves and their opportunity look better. Clearly a sign of a low self-image. So be careful out there as you determine your next great career move. A smart interviewer will probe for how you look at life. So which one are you?
1 Peter 3:16 ESV
"Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."