So you’re a recruiter or talent scout rummaging through talent pool after talent pool, endlessly posting openings on every “this, that, and the other” job board under the sun and keep coming up short. You’ve exhausted the recent grad pool to find that along with zero professional experience they’re in the negative for life experience as well. Every cover letter from potential candidates either sounds like R2-D2 wrote it or they just filled in the blanks of a template. If your candidate does get through, they either blow it big time in the interview process or they reject the job offer for whatever reason. Or, in extreme cases the hiring manager doesn’t actually know exactly what they’re looking for… Purple squirrels and rainbow horned unicorns don’t really exist!
Allow me to introduce you to an entirely new planet called martial arts practitioners. I know this may seem a bit outlandish for the seriousness that is candidate placement but given enough thought and time and proper guidance and mentorship, I assure you that you will hit your target 99.9% of the time. You see, good companies hire good people that are qualified for the job. OK simple enough. However, great companies hire extraordinary people to teach and mold into exactly what they’re looking for. “Yeah right!!”, you say.
As Jules Winfield from Pulp Fiction would say, “well allow me to retort…”
10 reasons why Martial Artists make great employees:
1. Tenacity. This trait runs deep within a martial artist. That said, give them a task or goal and watch them do work. When challenges arise, practitioners are relentless in their determination to reach that goal with unwavering grit.
2. Creative. Martial artists are trained to imagine real life scenarios with would be attackers or threats. This training allows the mind to relax in order to think. Thinking leads to problem solving and out of the box ideas in order to avoid danger.
3. Loyalty. There’s an innate characteristic for martial artists to remain loyal to their teachers, mentors, and peers. This can translate into low turn over rate and brand ambassadors. However, a teacher or peer must be worthy enough for a practitioner to dedicate their loyalty to.
4. Timely. Ask any staunch martial artist what time their training class or session is and they will tell you their entire schedule for the week and not miss a single class, even when feeling under the weather. Practitioners take their training serious and honor those who make time for them.
5. Patience. One of the first things a martial artist learns is that wisdom takes time. They come out of the dark and build towards the light, understanding and developing a big picture for themselves. Attaining expertise or spiritual enlightenment come through experience and hard work and they embrace this truth.
6. Adaptable. Through their training, martial artists learn the skill of adaptability. This allows them to read any situation and make their plan accordingly. With practitioners, they know there isn’t a defacto plan of action, tying in other key characteristics such as patience and creativity, but keep in mind a positive end result. Like, water.
7. Teachable. This is probably the most important characteristic of any good martial artist. And that is thy must be teachable. Bruce Lee once said, “empty your tea cup”. This meant that if you already know everything, how can you learn anything else? Martial artists can learn anything you throw at them and will practice and practice until they are blue in the face and its perfect. Again, tenacity!
8. Enduring. If you seek someone that will be able to take a lot of pain and stick with the program for a very long time, a martial artist will be the last to jump ship when waters are rough. Along with their loyalty, they are trained to take hits and taught how to get back on their feet usually with great vengeance. Passionate are those who love what they do and make it a life long mission.
9. Empathy. So if you understand the classical thought behind the YinYang, the hard edge of any martial artist is always balanced with a soft core, similar to a Katana blade. Thoughtfulness and caring are residual effects from a practitioners practice to not only strengthen the body but also to sharpen and free the mind. They reach this by spiritual means, not by hardcore training.
10. Healthy. Most martial artists instill a healthy attitude by way of diet, exercise, and meditation into their lifestyle. They rarely miss a date from being sick and bring a clear and unemotional mind to their day. This reverberates and lifts others around them. This of course requires endless vigor but practitioners know the rewards and stay conscious of the decisions they make. Simply put, health is wealth!
In closing, I’m not here promoting some sort of paradigm shift in recruiting or hiring. All I offer is a different perspective than what you’re used to in hopes to at least analyze your approach. I realize that it takes an engineer and/or experts to do specific jobs but most everything on the table is teachable and is worth the investment when you find the RIGHT people.
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