I think I found it….and it happened to me.

Warning…small rant.

Imagine you are a hiring manager trying to find someone to lead a group of IT professionals.  What are the things that you would look for in a candidate?  For me, it would be someone that has the following profile:

  • Strong leadership skills
  • Intelligence
  • Initiative
  • Technical knowledge (not necessarily a techie…someone that understands technology)
  • An understanding of basic business skills and terminology
  • Customer Service skills
  • Good Communication Skills (written and verbal)

Now, imagine you find a candidate that seems to meet all of the above requirements.  You talk to them and enjoy the conversation…so much so that you want to bring them in for a face to face interview.

By chance (or by planning?), you find that your candidate is giving a talk at a local conference so you attend (or send someone).  You (or your proxy) attend and think that the candidate wasn’t very “dynamic” in their presentation.

Based on this, you cancel the interview and tell the recruiter that its because the candidate isn’t a “dynamic speaker”.

One question: WTF?

I’m fine with not being a dynamic speaker….heck…I’d be the first to tell you that I am far from dynamic when speaking…but I do think I’m an engaging speaker.  Perhaps next time I talk, I’ll put on a fake smile, wave my hands and make bold movements around the room.  Is that dynamic enough? 🙂    My presentation at UTD wasn’t my best…I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked, but that wouldn’t have changed my presentation style much.

On a positive note, I do prefer to receive feedback on everything I do….it does help….but if you don’t think I’m a dynamic public speaker, have the courtesy to tell me in person rather in the manner in which these people did.

To completely discount a person based on one presentation that you attend (or hear feedback from someone who attended) is ludicrous IMO.  If they make their hiring decisions based on the public speaking abilities of candidates, then they’ll be looking long and hard.  I just hope they require all the other candidates to prepare a paper and then present it at a conference 🙂

I guess this type of judgment would be similar to comparing a company’s ability and skill in implementing Cisco systems to the professionalism and look/feel of their website.   If I were to do that, I’d never hire this particular company as their website appears to have been created in Frontpage 97 and hasn’t been updated since 🙂

BTW – Anyone know of a good Toastmasters group around Dallas (preferably around Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney)?