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BY Joel Junker

Cameron-Brooks JMO Attitude

Last week, a Cameron-Brooks client company recruiter reminded me that she not only prefers Cameron-Brooks JMOs because of their talent and potential but also because of their attitude.  The Cameron-Brooks JMO brings an attitude of “giving” to the organization, focusing on results, investing in self-development and being a team player. 

This recruiter is a manager at a medical device company and called because she has been trying to fill an opening since August.  Now, just think about that for a minute.  – Ready?  Unemployment has been around the 10% range; the highest since the early 1980’s. There are approximately six applicants for every single opening according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, yet this is a leading medical device company where numerous people want to have a career.  The recruiter explained she initially felt  as if this opening required previous medical device sales experience versus a JMO background because of the territory.  She received numerous resumes and conducted numerous interviews, though the candidates in her words brought “awful” attitudes to the process.

She explained to me that she identified talented sales professionals with a track record of success.  However, during the process and before she ever made an offer, candidates asked about how much time off they would have, if they could take Thursday afternoons off to coach a soccer team, and the possibilities of living two hours away from the territory.  The sales manager recruiter said to me, these questions are okay after a person has an offer AND has been a top performer in the position for at least a year.  She went on to explain that she has a great attitude about work /life balance issues with her top performers, but that’s just it, the person needs to demonstrate he/she can master the position, grow market share, deliver value to customers, and more, BEFORE taking time off to coach, living further away from the territory and expect ing additional time off. 

This recruiter may be giving me extreme examples to prove her point, though our conversation provided me with fodder for this blog.  Roger Cameron has said, “A candidate’s attitude is often more important in determining the outcome of the interview than any other factor. Specifically, it is the attitude of giving versus taking.”  Too often, candidates go into an interview wanting to know what’s in it for them. While attitude is far from the only factor in determining interview success, it is one of the most important.

Recruiters are looking for things such as: work ethic, adaptability, significant accomplishments, understanding of business concepts (Lean Six Sigma, Project Management, Participative Leadership), interpersonal skills, promotable potential, short and long term goals that match the position, and more.  Whereas, candidates with a “taking” attitude will be concerned with issues such as: location, benefits, time off, next promotion, travel, etc.  When this happens, the interview process ends up being an “apples and oranges” conversation because the recruiter who owns the interview has one agenda and the candidate has another.  This typically results in a recruiter ruling out the candidate, as happened with our client company in question.

For those Junior Military Officers (JMOs) preparing for a military to business transition, whether you use a JMO headhunter, JMO recruiter, or conduct your own career search – remember – you must first give, in order to receive.  My advice is to enter every interview with the thoughts, “What can I give this company? How can I convince this recruiter that I am the person to do the job? What proof and evidence can I give?” 

Every candidate has a want list.  You have in your mind the ideal salary, location, benefit package, and other factors that define your perfect career opportunity.  Most everyone has their own list.  Successful candidates,  however, address their list later in the interview process while they are evaluating offers.  Average candidates make the mistake of taking the list with them into the interview.  This want list should be deployed only when you have an offer in hand.  And, some issues are better not brought up in the interview or offer process at all.  They are topics that can be discussed after you have proven your value to a company.

You first must give, in order to receive.

 Joel Junker