For those of you who haven’t yet seen the Susan Boyle video, I promise you will be glad you watch it in its entirety here.
I can’t think of a story that unfolded so fast, so well, and the only reason I found out about this one was because there has been so much chatter about it on the internet.
I don’t watch reality TV shows often, but I know who Simon Cowell is, and now that I have watched this video a few times myself, I think that as Susan got through her song, Simon was smiling (which I have never seen before) because he knew they had gotten to someone who would have never gotten her shot had it not been for that show, and that because of the show he created, a 47 year-old woman from a little village in Scotland fulfilled her dream right there on that stage last Saturday night. Her life will never be the same, and Simon knew that before she did.
While you ought to have to have at least some admiration for the typical kids that go on that sort of show for their guts and ambition, the Susan Boyle story really stands out from that crowd as someone so unlikely, and yet, as we now know so deserving of a chance.
Which brings me to what it has to do with rethinking and it has to do with hiring. Right now in this recession, people are getting laid off all over the place, but some people are still hiring. I have hired lots of people over the years, and when I have looked at resumes in the past, I would look for some basics and I often look for “standard” qualifications, quickly dismissing lots and lots of resumes without much thought.
When times are good (which they were for nearly 20 years with the asterisk of the dot com correction), that’s probably a good approach, as really good people are hard to find and you can be very picky that way. Today, however, I expect the climate is already so different, that an unusually high number of really great people are out there, and in many cases they are wanting or needing to change careers (like a lot of bankers and auto workers in the US), so their resumes may not be an obvious fit for some roles.
My bet is that there are lots and lots of Susan Boyles out there right now, so don’t be so quick to dismiss candidates who seem completely unfit for a given role, because when you find them, you will probably have a smile bigger than Simon’s.