We're all recruiting. Always.
From friends, colleagues and employees, we get to choose who we spend most of our time with. I find it useful to ask this question every time I decide to spend time with someone.
What is this candidate amazing at?
The answer allows me to do 3 things:
- Decide what kind of work I can accomplish better with the help of this candidate.
- Estimate the potential synergy with my skill sets and things I can learn from him/her.
- Choose the team members this candidate should collaborate with to optimize results.
There are different ways to find out what a person is amazing at. The easy way is to simply ask them about it.
Cyriac Roeding from ShopKick once asked me, "Imagine a global competition with every human competing with you on a skill of your choice. On which skill would you be able to defeat each one of the 7.2 billion people?"
Other strategies would be to look for things that excite a person the most, or something they have repeatedly done for a long time in the past (I don't mean work exp). It could be a skill, or a trait, or simply the ability to do something. I try and conduct this activity fairly soon after meeting a person, which allows me to stir better conversation.
However, I try and remain objective in my judgement of 'amazing'. I actively try to detach my personal opinion or understanding of their domain. Because more often than not, I meet people whose work I don't completely understand. They are much smarter than me in the work that they do. I must keep an open mind to understand the objectives behind their work and their contribution to the projects. In general, I look for signals that help me choose the people I spend time with.
If you're amazing at doing something, it means you could be amazing at something else too. It would only require a change in perception, discipline and learning. Now thats something I could potentially help with.
If you're amazing at doing something, which you most certainly are. I'm looking for you. Come say "Hi".
* I told Cyriac that I could beat every single person on the planet at 'Selling Garbage from the Streets'. I was trying to highlight my hustler "get shit done" attitude to him when I said it. I tend to ask myself this question from time to time as an introspecting activity.