Lateral Thinkers wanted

I spent an enjoyable hour on Tuesday discussing university links and student recruiting with the CEO of a London-based management consultancy.

It is a Strategic Consultancy – i.e. it helps clients think differently about the way that they do things, especially how work space impacts on productivity, so that means that they need staff that think differently to the norm.  That, in turn,  means that ‘normal’ recruitment methods aren’t appropriate.  Recruitment generally is about defining what you want, designing a process that identifies it, and hoping that appropriate people apply. If what you want is something ‘different’ then it’s hard to design the process.

Being a consultancy, you’d be unsurprised to hear that they’ve analysed the issue – and looking at their most successful team members they’ve identified that, whilst very clever, they have achieved relatively mediocre qualifications – the constraints of syllabi and examinations have tended not to be stimulating – but have excelled in other ways, such as team sports.  So part of what they are looking for average students who have spent lots of time on extra-curricular activities.

But that can’t be all – there’s still the bit about thinking differently.  And for me here’s a problem:

Most students apply to big brand names, and companies in the top 5 of industry-lists.  This company is in neither category.  But if students only apply to this company because I point it out then the student isn’t thinking differently, they are just following advice.

Hence this blog – if you’re the kind of person that can think differently, that can put 2 and 2 together, then you’ve probably got another tab open at the moment trying to work out which consultancy I was visiting, and looking for contact details.

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