What Managers Can Learn from My Recent Hire


By Jolene Risch

I’ve written about strategies for getting the best out of employees, from issuing tough love in the workplace to looking beyond the black and white of a resume to discover skills that aren’t obvious at first glance. Taking a more macro approach, let’s talk about strategies for finding employees you didn’t expect. Namely, employees who have reentered the workforce after a multi-year absence.

Risch Results recently hired Nicole Stasick as director of business development, marking her official return to the corporate world. For 12 years, Nicole focused on raising her children and running a small marketing firm. Although she wasn’t involved in marketing and sales full time, she stayed in the game, keeping up to date on the latest technology platforms, social media, and office tools. When I met Nicole, her resume might have prompted me to assume she would be out of the loop. After all, 12 years is a long time to be absent from daily corporate life. However, the exact opposite is true. Nicole’s background has enhanced her skills. She has mastered the ability to balance difficult tasks, communicate efficiently and effectively, and keep perspective on priorities. All of these are truly valuable skills.

With Age Comes Wisdom

A seasoned worker is mature, and for anyone who has been out of the workforce only to reenter it can demonstrate to an employer that he or she has the ability to balance life’s demands and thrive. When I compare that wisdom and experience of seasoned workers to younger counterparts, the gap is wide. While there are many jobs that are perfect for millennials, someone right out of college only has the experience of school. Life experience goes a long way for many positions.

In the article, 3 Questions Amazon’s CEO Asks Before Hiring Anyone, Jeff Bezos reveals that, before extending an offer of employment, his hiring managers need to consider their answers to the following: Will you admire this person? Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they’re entering? Along what dimensions might this person be a superstar? These inquiries are far from the traditional, Does this person have the core skills for the job? and, Will he or she fit into the company culture? yet they can reveal much more than standard (although important) hiring questions.

If an employee has worked in a non-traditional setting, or even a volunteer position, they can still acquire the skills and contacts needed to build relationships—relationships that can be leveraged to increase business. This is certainly the case with Nicole. When she came to Risch Results, she brought along her connections from her marketing business. She also has experience volunteering in the non-profit sector and has built a large network as vice president of her local chapter of National Charity League. Once again, she can leverage those relationships in her current position.

Employees who are coming back to work after an absence may have gained the life skills and have built a network necessary to thrive in their position—and help you take the business to the next level. We hit the jackpot hiring Nicole, proving that just because a professional isn’t working full time, that doesn’t mean she lacks the skills and agility to bring full-time skills to your business.

Risch Results is one of Dallas’ top executive search firms for executive management, manufacturing, and financial services talent. Learn more about how Risch Results can help with your talent needs at RischResults.com or 972.839.9447.

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