Friday, August 27, 2010

Swirling Textbooks

Dust is swirling. Papers are flying up in the air. Hammering sounds are echoing off walls. Sandals are scuffing down Winegard Walk.

It looks like change is here; new buildings; new carpets; new faces; new programs. It's feeling like Autumn and it looks like the new school year is almost here. When buildings are built, it takes a while. Each floor goes up over the course of weeks. I can watch the Engineering (north) work easily from where I am. That construction has been underway for a while. And soon it will be occupied.

When the new cohort comes here, that's nearly instantaneous. Nearly, I say, because the student presence changes every day during August. Varsity teams start to show up. There are early arrivals, with parents being toured around. What you can't mistake is the population change. There are definitely more people on campus today, relative to one month ago in July.

What are they expecting? That's something we focus on regularly. We are very concerned with not building false expectations, particularly for careers and their futures. Each new Fall intake of students has a different outlook. We will seek to understand that and we will encourage their dreams. We'll work with those dreams and help students make them real, even if those dreams can't be completely fulfilled without the intervention of building and change.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Finding Talent...different vantage points

In the last month, I've gone from being the coach of students who were being involved, third-party you might say, to being interviewed, to interviewing others. In each, the hot seat has a different temperature. Definitely, as you all have experienced, being interviewed is the most stressful. You feel that your whole person is on display and you're being characterized and judged. Can I add to that that the role of the interviewer is similarly stressful, in a different way?

The interviewer is thinking about the impact to the business' future, the effects that the new person will bring to their team, and how you're affecting the successful candidate's future. None of which are inconsequential.

So, here we have a dynamic where two parties both want to "win" and there's a bit of a tension, if that's the right word. I feel that if openness and clarity are at the heart of the discussion, then both the interviewer and the interviewee should be able to walk away satisfied, on some level.

Certainly, qualifications are critical. Experience is deeply desired. But, often, employers tell me they're looking for people with the right work with their team. How do you convey that?