What does it take to be flexible in your approach and outlook when you start recruiting? We all go out to the market with a particular mindset about who we are looking for. What skills they will have, what kind of experience they will have and the ‘fit’ for the role – for the organisation, the culture and the rest of the team. How many of us actually go out to the market with a flexible mindset in terms of who it is we are looking for when recruiting these Managers and Executive positions? Are you still looking? Or have you found what you are looking for? Recently I have been working on assignments where we have either gone out to the market with an ‘ideal person spec’ then adapted this person specification through the course of the assignment. Just because the sorts of people that didn’t fit the ‘ideal person spec’. These great candidates may not have wanted to or been able to work full time, they may not have had exactly the experience, academic qualifications and skills, or they just weren’t going to complement the existing management team and therefore organisation in terms of ‘fit’. And how good is it to feel that we can be flexible in our approach? That we don’t have a box eyed vision of who and what we are looking for and we absolutely won’t settle for something other than that? Because if you go out to the candidate market with the ‘ideal person spec’ but with a view that you will be flexible, and willing to look at alternatives to this – it’s actually really amazing what you may find. There is another fabulous and really important (for this industry) assignment that I am currently working on. It is very specialist in terms of experience and skills set, also the commitment the person needs to have to travel for work. There are few experienced people with the skills set, qualifications and experience we are looking for. So we are now considering other solutions, part-time, job share, advisory kind of role, and the list goes on. And I love working like this, the candidate market is widened in a candidate short market place, and the people you find have such richness to offer just outside of the ‘ideal person spec’. They don’t quite fit in the box, well not perfectly anyway. It’s so important that if you aren’t getting the right person with the ‘ideal person spec’ that you can be nimble, open minded and courageous enough to take a risk and look for something outside the square – if you can. If we just keep banging our heads against a brick wall, rather than looking at alternatives and if we can’t flexible with our hiring specifications in this industry then there’s no point really. Perhaps the one that is just outside your ideal person spec may well be your next team top performer? So have a look at the jobs you are recruiting, could you open up the spec and see what might be out there? Or are you, as U2 says in their song ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I Am Looking For’ going to continue to scale these city walls and still not find the person you are looking for?