Before you were hired, there was a labelscar…

Do you ever drive by a mall or old business and see a labelscar?

Labelscars are difficult to hide.

Labelscars are difficult to hide.

You probably didn’t realize there was an actual term for what you saw. A labelscar is when a sign is taken off from a building and the dust and fade marks still show in the shape of the old sign...labelscar.

Drive around many cities and you will see labelscars for Sears, KMart, BlockBuster, Toys R Us and Theranos too... 

A labelscar does not look good on a building but at least you know a little bit about the history of that building. Parlay this into recruiting and many times a new job has scars from the predecessor. The problem is that you often can’t see the labelscar left over from the predecessor.

The question I like to ask a hiring manager is simple but often overlooked and that is - “why is the role open”? I want to know what happened and assess if there is a deeper problem in the organization. Did the person leave for pay? Was it culture? Commute? Issues with leadership? OR maybe the predecessor didn’t perform.

In recruiting there is no labelscar to tell you what was left behind. You have to dig in and find the scar. Sometimes the predecessor is squared away, leaves no scars and is riding away in the sunset. Other times you need to hire someone to clean up a mess and work over the labelscar…

PS - I’m looking for VP of Finance level and IT talent for the pharma industry and VP of Product level talent for the FinTech industry. There are labelscars with these roles and I’m looking for people who like to bring order to chaos.

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