Career Advice


August 22, 2017

Contributed by Jeff Vijungco, Vice President, Corporate Employee Experience, Talent & Technology

Here’s the scenario. You’re a manager. You’re looking at a shortlist of possible internal and external candidates (hopefully they don’t fit in) and you’re ready to hire or appoint someone into the role. But is the candidate ready for the job?

Conversely, you’re the candidate who just landed an offer and you’re evaluating if it’s the right move for your career. How do you know if you’re ready to dive into this new opportunity with enthusiasm?

Whether you’re a hiring manager or a candidate, I’ve learned that both parties have to be ready-ish. Find out what that means and what I look for.

1.     READY-now

Hiring manager POV:

These candidates have the right experience and look fantastic on paper—they know what to do via “muscle memory”. It’s routine for them. In your head you want ready-now because it’s a safe bet. This seems like a no-brainer but consider this…There might be less upside. There’s little challenge for the candidate you’re trying to bring on. When there’s little or no challenge, the “honeymoon period” of a new job may fizzle fast.

  • Counter-intuitively – “Hire a 10, luck may end.”
  • No assembly required.
  • Less risk but is there any upside?

Candidate POV:

If you’re one of these candidates, consider these questions…Is this a side-ways move? Shouldn’t it feel like an upgrade? If it’s the same ol’ same ol’ what’s the point of making a move? You’ve seen this movie before, haven’t you?

  • In the comfort zone.
  • Been there, done that. Time to Rinse-n-Repeat.

2.     READY-ish

Hiring manager POV:

This is the true paradox in career management….I can’t get the job without experience, I can’t get the experience without the job. Come on, give em’ a chance!

Ready-now candidates may be gold, but ready-ish candidates are diamonds in the rough. Why do I look for these types of people? Simple. They’re looking to prove something and that extra motivation makes them special. Maybe during the interview, he/she didn’t have all the right answers, but surprised you with the most provocative questions.

Once you’ve identified ready-ish, equip them for success. Stay close. This means being a more hands-on manager, creating clear pathways to learning and development, and celebrating wins and supporting setbacks along the way. Trust me. It’s worth it in the end.

  • Counter-intuitively – “Hire a 7, you’re in heaven.”
  • Some assembly required.
  • Some risk, but more upside.

Candidate POV:

Employees are most engaged when stretched. You have a foundation of experience and a lot of motivation to make up for the slight gap. Go make an impact and learn it all.

  • In the stretch zone.
  • This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for.

3.     READY-later

Hiring manager POV:

You’re in a rush. But wait, let’s not ignore the carpenter’s rule: “measure twice, cut once.” The candidate is a great person perhaps, but the gap is significant. He/she may not be the one today, but keep them on your radar. 

  • Intuitively – “Hire a 5, may or may not survive.”
  • Too much assembly required.
  • Can candidate pull this off?

Candidate POV:

If you’re this type of candidate, re-tool and re-skill. Good news is you have something to work towards. Keep inching forward. It’s not about an overnight overhaul, it’s about accumulating micro-learnings along the way.

  • In the panic zone.
  • Can I pull this off? 

In brief, #Readyish is the new ready.