Most Important thing you’ve learned

“What is the most important thing that you learned in this class?”

One big takeaway for me this term was the concept of the “A-player” and how to recruit and select them. This is two-fold for me, with the first being about the recruitment and selection and the second about myself being that A-player.

Looking at the framework that a company should use to source, select, scorecard, and finally, sell. This framework provides a process that is proactive, reliable and valid. There is lot more to this, but I will keep to the framework.

Source: This is critical, because it is the very first step and it is proactive and intentional. The focus for this part of the framework is to continually network and pinpoint potential candidates before you ever need them. This helps the manager to be aware of what his team needs and what they are looking for. Which helps in the following steps.

Select: This is a series of interviews that not only sifts through candidates, but provides tips and insight into the interview process, allowing the company to mitigate wrong choices, but also picking candidates that might not otherwise have “fit the bill” and go on to become the best choice in the end.

Scorecard: This goes hand-in-hand with the select process that reinforces a standardization of questioning that allows for a reliable and valid method determining who the best candidate is, reducing and/or removing bias and discrimination.

Sell: This is the clincher and is necessary to ensure after all the hard work and resources put into finding a candidate that they are ready, willing and able to join the team and give it their all. This is a great focus on how family and life can play a huge part into an otherwise seemingly quantifiable decision, instead is more complicated.

Going through the book and a deep dive into the process, gives me a greater appreciation for striving to be that A-player and know that I have to decide whether the company is right for me, as much as they are determining if I am right for them.


1. What am I good at?

During an internship as a white-collar worker, it was a difficult position and role that I was put in. In the end, there was a lot of feedback and constructive criticism, but I was commended for two things. It was my hard-work ethic and focus on developing relationships with staff and other interns and mentoring them. I am also good at improving and maximizing efficiencies in processes.

2. What do I value?

Integrity is a value that I hold dear. Family is another value, as they give me purpose and provide support. Communication is important to me, as I tend to over-share, but like the grappling with ideas and making ideas and lives better. This goes hand-in-hand with courage, as it can be difficult to share and talk about matters that are important, but challenging.

3. How did I get here?

I started in Brookings, Oregon and traveled the world. Living in Europe for over a year and in the Middle East. It was the invitation of my friend and brother, who invited me to join him, as he went to school for his second bachelors. It was during that period of working and getting involved with my community and church that I decided I wanted to go back to school and provide for myself and my family.

4. Where am I going?

I will go wherever the job takes me. I hope to stay in Oregon, but I will take my family with me and make a home that is made of memories and is safe. I hope to travel and to push my career into operations, becoming a COO at some point in my career.

IPIP Results & Reactions

On the IPP-NEO narrative report, it tells me that I am

94 Extraversion, 97 Agreeableness, 92 Conscientiousness, 36 Neuroticism 79 Openness

For extraversion, it states that I am rated a sociable, energetic and lively. I am enthusiastic towards the external world and action-oriented, where I am willing to accept opportunities, boisterous and assertive, drawing attention to myself.

Looking at agreeableness, I am someone who works well with teams and seeks a cooperative spirit, willing to compromise and is considerate of other people and generous.

With conscientiousness, this relates to controlling and regulating impulses. People who rate high are long-term planners, organizers and goal setters who are very persistent.

Neuroticism is the tendency to experience negative feelings. This means that the person has one or more primary feelings of anger, depression or anxiety. They might respond to events that the average person doesn’t normally experience. Looking at normal situations with dread, seeing it as threatening and having minor frustrations.

Expanding on openness to experience is looking at how down-to-earth, imaginative or creative people are. Being rated highly on this component means that you are more likely to be able to think about abstract ideas, whether that’s music, math, philosophy, language or any of the performing arts. They enjoy change, novelty and variety.

An employer looking at these five components would see several weaknesses in it. I would not be an A-player in police work, sales or service occupations. This type of person can handle everyday life, but may not be suitable for high-stress jobs that require quick decisions. This type of person could be considered stuffy and a rule follower, who doesn’t necessarily think outside the box and could be a perfectionist and workaholic. This type of person would not necessarily thrive as a scientist, soldier or even as a referee, who has to make disagreeable decisions and be okay with that. Being high on extraversion means that the person will work well with a team, but may not operate as strong in a position, where they need to make their own decisions stick to a task-oriented job for long periods of time.

Some of the strengths are being able to work well with a team, taking charge, as needed and being willing and able to entertain new ideas and concepts from co-workers and use it to make a decision. Well organized and a strong planner, being able to create strategy and think for the future and plan accordingly; persistence to see the project to the finish. Capable of handling everyday stress and working on a job, not letting things get them down, too much. A strong player in sticking to what is conventional, balancing out the rest of the team, who might be more willing to adopt new and untried methods without thinking it through.

Week 5: Typical vs. Maximal Performance

1. I would hire Avery. An employee who has a specific set of skills and are able to rise to the occasion, when put in a particular situation means that I can focus him in the area where he excels and let him fly. Whereas Jaime is average and well-rounded; in a business, I would hire people for a particular job, who excel and make sure that their job required a particular set of skills that showcased Avery’s abilities.

2. Avery would excel on a team, where he was not a manager or in control of people, but would be utilized to deliver a specific dynamic. Perhaps in this instance, he would be the lawyer on a team that presents to court. He isn’t very consistent in his research or ability to stay focused and searching cases. However, when you give him all the information needed, he will read, study and present a case that would crack the foundation of a house. Jaime wouldn’t excel, because she would be very consistent and organized in being able to provide all the material that was needed, because she is so focused and well-rounded, but not narrow in her capabilities. She would be dependable and reliable to get the work done, but not necessarily present a knock-out case in court.

3. Jaime would work very well in a bank. Dealing with customers and being reliable in her organization, customer-service skills and knows the rules and regulations. There isn’t necessarily room to excel and show high potential, but she would be a solid teller or loan officer, who could be counted on to provide good assessments. Where Avery might do really well in counting money, or being quick; or having a great charm with customers, his lack of focus and lackadaisical ability to pay attention and get the work done on time, would be a burden and put the bank branch at risk. In the banking world, consistency and dependability in the workplace matters.

Critiquing a Recruitment ad

The way I focus my brand as a potential employee is built on teamwork, leadership, wide-perspective and empathy. I have a plethora of experience in jobs and volunteer work, where I worked with teams. This leads into leadership, where I have made decisions and learned how to deal with people and get the most and best out of them. My travels spanning a dozen countries and living in Europe and the Middle East has given me a wide-perspective, coupled with empathy in understanding and realizing why other cultures and people act as they do. Combining these traits, makes a unique brand that shows I can be a great fit for a company that is internationally-based, teamwork based and want servant-leadership.

I would focus the ad on several different scenarios in dealing with people of various sorts. This can be driven internationally, presenting myself as a world traveler who has interacted with many cultures and embraces the awkwardness and humility in connecting with people. Another scenario would be dealing with a diverse team, that is disconnected. Presenting myself as an empathetic leader who can relate to the different team members and identify values that all parties accept and drawing upon that as a pillar to creating a cohesive team founded on respect, developing mutual trust. The final scenario would be set on a overseas assignment, incorporating various nationalities working on a project that needs a team leader to guide and direct progress. This would be based on multiple perspectives, teamwork, empathy and leadership. Identifying strengths in the team and and pulling the team toward the project will naturally draw them together and focus the group on a common goal, where they all want to succeed and are willing to work together, settling differences and learning from each other.

Job Descriptions

Working at Block 15, the job description did not really affect my decision to apply for the job. I had been a patron of the restaurant for 8 years and I knew the standard they set were high, as well as the fact that being a server was a stressful job, but payed well.

Some of the ways that it was similar is how they focused on the fact that customer service is such an integral part of the customer experience. They talked about multi-tasking and prioritizing what tasks needed to be done, at a given moment. This was definitely true and I had many stressful moments, where I had to make a judgment call and decide what was in the best interest of the customer and business.

Some of the ways that it was different, was talking about how we were to be nuanced experts of the different food and beverages. I am a huge fan of beer and enjoy it, but I have my preferences and this bias makes for me to give a different opinion and idea on what tastes good for others. I couldn’t tell you objectively whether the Dopple WieZen was a good beer, because I’m not a fan of Bavarian styled beers. This was true for food as well. I am not a big fan of pasta. So, when our customers would ask my recommendation, I could only tell the truth and tell them what other customers had said and describe it as best I could.

Experiences with Discrimination

If I had a favorite company that faced a public lawsuit, I would first want to know, what the context is. The English language is ripe for misinformation and for content to be taken out of context. My initial reaction would be to boycott supporting that company and I probably would stay away from them, because I want to be a person of integrity and those who don’t have integrity are not worthy of my trust. How can I trust a company to provide their product as it should, when they can’t trust each other, because of discrimination and whatever else is being propagated within their walls?

Now, I would be looking to see how they responded to the accusations and the lawsuit. In our country, the concept of justice is being innocent until proven guilty. You can sue anybody for anything, and if there is a section of the company that needs a serious overhaul, then that’s what I look for. Are they seeking to make a workplace that is free from discrimination? Where ideas can flow, and people are respected? If so, then I would consider supporting them, again.

If these developments had taken place, then I would apply for that company and I would ask the hiring manager about the steps they had taken to handle these allegations since they transpired. Every company is going to have issues and for every lawsuit is a hundred where discrimination has taken place. I have been the victim of discrimination and bullying. This was due to a lack of employer oversight and poor training, not a rampant example of discrimination within the culture. In a company of fifty people, one person could be the instigator of discrimination to five and over 10% of the company is experiencing discrimination. This would be rampant and widespread, but due to one person and poor oversight. Context means something and should.

Case for Recruitment & Selection

When it comes to hiring, some organizations recognize that great employees want to work for a company that has a great product and is expansive in the market. By focusing on marketing, the company can they ensure the reputation of the company is known far and wide. Along with the reputation of the company, is the product that they provide. If the company focuses on their product and ensuring that it’s the cutting edge, while also driving innovation, will be a source of attraction for prospective employees to want to work for them. If they have developed their marketing strategy, they will interact with individuals in different companies that they can headhunt.

For some companies, focusing on other aspects of the business is a strength, rather than recruitment. For example, a small company such as a gym or a coffee shop in a college town will be limited in the benefits and pay that the work demands. The main pool of talent will be college students, who work part-time and the company will experience 100% turnover rate every two years, on average. A weakness is the lack of consistency in the employee reliability scale. Some will not show up, because of hangovers, college classes drastically increase in difficulty and other family issues. Businesses that are small and rely on a blue-collar work force cannot afford to spend large amounts of money to hire individuals who will leave the company in a short amount of time. Focusing on quality, marketing will ensure that the business is a desirable place to work and the hiring manager can pick the most optimal candidate for the position. The weakness in this strategy is underdeveloped tactics and tools to discern and learn what makes a great candidate and a poor one.

Job Experience

Even during this day and age, a man needs a job. Not just any job, I need one that will exercise my skills and expertise. In my search for a job, I pay less attention to the job description and whether or not the position calls for someone who has the amount of expertise they require. Therefore, I applied to Cardno as a proposal coordinator. This was a position advertised on LinkedIn and the requirements were within my range of experience and skill set, so I was applied for the position.

I was sent a link to enter into an interview process, where I was required to answer behavioral questions on the webcam and was recorded for review. It was during this process that I realized that I was unprepared for what they expected. Some of the questions asked me to describe the color “yellow”. I don’t know what describing color has to do with business, but I gave it a shot. There were some other questions that I believe were satisfactory, but not excellent, as I was not chosen to go further in the interview process.

I found the company to be lacking in information and creating an user-friendly interface to investigate and see who and what the company does. It was challenging to be able to prepare for the interview, when I felt that I had little to draw upon, from the company’s history and mission statement, as well as values they uphold. Regardless, I am searching for jobs and will apply to any that fit the criteria that I feel comfortable applying for.