Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Employers Look For Candidates Who Have Failed

When I first heard this as a recruiter, I asked the hiring manager to please repeat themselves.

Later I learned that many savvy hiring managers often look to hire someone who has failed at a past job or project.

Ok, everybody out there that has hidden failures on their resume, raise your hand …

I was intrigued as I heard more and more hiring managers seek those who have failed at something, because it’s counter intuitive. And based on the number of people out there with their hands in the air, most candidates don’t realize just how valuable failure is.

Employers find failure valuable because:

  1. Failure demonstrates innovation: In order to innovate, you have to accept that your idea might fail.

  2. Failure demonstrates willingness to take risks: Employees who take intelligent risks create more value than employees who are don’t take risks. That doesn’t mean to go base jumping off your building with a parachute or take reckless business risks. Businesses that don’t take risks don’t grow, and they need employees to help them decide which risks make sense.

  3. It’s a huge learning experience: Failure means that you get to look back on it, and think “what could I have done to avoid this?”, “How could I have made this turn out better?” But you’ve learned on someone else’s payroll, and had a valuable learning experience on someone else’s budget.
  4. Read Reasons 4 -5 and the rest of the article

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