The genes of diamond in the rough

February 24, 2016 3 mins read
The genes of diamond in the rough

As a senior recruitment consultant, I talk with managers from different companies covering various functions including Operations, Supply Chain, HR, Manufacturing, Business Development etc, and most of them are facing a common challenge: it is not easy to make a significant growth with their current business.

When I ask them why, the answers are always the same: because they lack good people, or even potentially good people.These managers have their own ideas as to what constitutes a good person, such as similar industry background, strong implementation capability, quick adaptation, and so on. These criterias are important but not that useful in selecting potentially good people. If the wrong seeds have been chosen, no matter how much energy a company invests, they cannot grow to big trees.

So, makes a potentially good person; those diamonds in the rough?

I’ve compiled a list based on my professional experience.

Firstly, a strong motivation to learn. A potentially good person always has a strong desire to new things. They are eager to learn, dare to challenge and are determined to succeed.   Neil L.Rudenstine pointed out this amazing character clearly by his saying "This passionate pursuit--this desire to find out what lies just beyond the ideas we have barely understood, beyond the discovery we have just made; this desire to marshal the evidence, tighten the argument, polish the stanza, design exactly the right experiment, and convert ideas into effective actions--this is the primordial energy and motive force of the university, in all its many forms and purposes." As the same, a company also needs employees with strong curiosity and desire to learn to drive for consistently breakthrough.

Secondly, thinking outside the box; outside of their own field. It is good to have experts in their own field but sometimes it is also meaningful to develop people with different backgrounds. That new blood will undoubtedly bring new ideas, new methods and often make brilliant breakthroughs for organisations.

Third, good communication. A good potential employee always has outstanding ability to talk with various kinds of people, and respect others even though they hold different point of view. Nowadays more and more multinational companies have created international business working environment which requires high team spirit. Good communication is a very important point to judge a person if he is potential or not because this ability was mostly developed during family and school education earlier.

Lastly, be mature. Does this person handle frustration well? Are they good at controlling their emotion? Are they willing to learn from failure? If all these questions have positive answers, this person is a potential diamond hire for any organisation.

It is impossible to find a 5-legged sheep, but it is always possible to get a duckling that will grow into a swan. Try to be a diamond in the rough and you will find your way to an amazing organisation who will love your skills and you will thrive in your new environment.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director, Greater China
mmai@morganmckinley.com