Seeking Qualified Candidates - No Rockstars Please

I can't imagine anyone has not noticed the push to describe top candidates as rockstars lately: "Rockstar DBA wanted", "Only Rockstars need apply", etc. And for the most part I understand this to be kitschy and a way to market your req, but in the end, do the companies we work for/with really need/want rockstars?

Gene Simmons IS NOT the Model Employee
Now who doesn't love Gene? He's witty, he's edgy, he's fun to be around, and he is really cool. Heck his life is so interesting that they have a reality tv show around him. But even he didn't make it as a finalist on Celebrity Apprentice. He was too unpredictable, he requires a great deal of attention, and in the end he let his hubris get him fired. He made an awful apprentice despite making an iconic rockstar.

Rockstars Aren't Team Players
By nature, rockstars crave individual recognition, to be in the spotlight, to shine above all others. We always hope that their talent will make everyone better, but that just isn't their nature: Diana Ross moved beyond the Supremes, Justin Timberlake out grew INSYNC, Phil Collins left Genesis, Sting left The Police (not the best list, but you get the picture). Rockstar candidates are the same way: they are concerned with their career path not the company's growth; they market themselves not their team (and we encourage them to do so by the way). The best way to kill the productivity of a team is to have one person on the team focused on who gets the credit or more worried about a promotion than the job at hand.

A Voice in Many
So what's my argument for choir boys wanted? Well, that is who I want working with me: one that is able to adapt his/her individuality to the needs of the many to create a product greater than the individual contribution, someone that can take a solo at the right time and then move into support when it is someone else's turn to step-up; someone that understands their performance is critical to help make everyone achieve; someone that can lead through example and helps others stay on pitch or task; someone that can take direction from a director and doesn't over-sing to the detriment of the group. Anyone that has seen a true performance choir (I'm not talking about the "everyone can participate" Sunday morning choir) knows that everyone in the group is good on their own, but made better by the group. I want to recruit candidates wanting to be a part of that group. The Real Group.

Views: 11

Tags: candidates, recruiting, rockstar, team

Comment by Slouch on July 2, 2008 at 5:23pm
I think the first time I ever heard the term rockstar for a candidate used more than once was when Jobster started using it. Now you see it everywhere.
Comment by Kyle Smith on July 2, 2008 at 5:29pm
Tell me about it, now I have hiring managers using the term on req forms as a substitute for giving actual qualifications.
Comment by Slouch on July 2, 2008 at 5:30pm
It's terrible
Comment by Sally Raade on July 2, 2008 at 6:02pm
Can't we just have experienced models or movie stars instead? Great post!
Comment by Kyle Smith on July 2, 2008 at 6:05pm
Thanks Sally for the comment; I have always wanted to work with someone that got to pose for one of those cheesy boardroom shots you see in employment brochures.
Comment by Dena Mallory on June 17, 2009 at 8:15pm
My business is called Rock-It Hire, LLC so obviously, I like the term and why get hung up on semantics anyway? A rock star is someone who is motivated and competent to perform--isn't that why you attended your last concert???

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