This is a decade of rapidly changing attitudes toward work. The importance of the “can or can’t” in making any hiring decision is obviously important. Today, we have to be especially careful to shake out the “will or won’t”. More than ever, scoring three root-level attributes is the right way to start the interview process for a new business development role.
To succeed, your candidate must be:
- Capable of doing the work- all of it
- Willing to perform each of the hardest, most painful, menial, tedious, and least immediately rewarding tasks
- Prepared to commit, fully invest the time and effort, be present, make the sacrifice, pay the price, remain committed, and fully meet the challenge
Capable is the most obvious of these attributes. If you’re an experienced hiring executive, you won’t miss the qualifiers and success indicators. But, if it appears your emerging-level candidate wants to “move into leadership” more than they want to build a big book of business, hit pause and dig in. If they’re looking for any way out of the grind, there’s a good chance your candidate won’t be willing to do what it takes to succeed in a new business development role.
Likewise, if your candidate’s career mantra is based on the latest “great resignation” 3-day workweek puff piece they daydreamed about on LinkedIn, they may not be willing to do the work necessary to succeed in new business pursuit because they just don’t want to work this hard. Sure, they’re talented. Of course, they could be great at something. But not this. This is new business development. This is hard work. Working smart is great. They’ll need to do that too. Fulfilment is awesome. That comes later. But right now this is hard work. If your candidate isn’t willing to happily embrace the grind, run full speed into the market headwind, suffer the rejection, persist through the pain, and grind it out, they won’t succeed.
Prepared is different than willing. A prospective candidate can be appear to be capable and willing yet be completely unprepared to do all of the work necessary to hit early critical metrics and ultimately succeed. For example, they may not be logistically prepared to travel as needed, or make it to the Tuesday morning strategy meetings in the office, or…
I plan to write more on this topic in the year ahead.