As recession eases, time to hire Misfits, Troublemakers, Square Pegs

I have been talking to a potential guest (for an upcoming session on my radio show) on HR practices and social media. She’s Patty Van Leer, Chief Interactive Strategist at, NAS Recruiting, a division of McCann Worldgroup, advises companies on how to motivate and engage employees.

Most HR agencies are also asking their clients to plan for a new wave of  talent that only know (and will certainly expect) to have access to a range of engagement tools. Gone will be the days when you walk a person over to a desk and give her a notepad, some pens, and a login for an email address. The picture could be scary or exciting, depending on your perspective.

As the gears of our economy begin to re-engage, and talent acquisition becomes a priority once again, what will we do with these always-on employees?

Park Howell makes an interesting point. He applies the lens of ‘Rudolph Thinking’ to look inward for managing business tough times. Park’s blog post, “The 15 characteristics of Rudolphs and how they can help steer your company thru the fog of the recession” refers to one of our favorite books on the show, The Rudolph Factor. (Its author Cindy Laurin was a guest on our radio  show.)

You see, Rudolphs make great employees despite the fact that –or perhaps because –they are a bit ‘weird.’ They are weird to most people who are just doing their thing, doing what they are supposed to be doing according to their job description.

Rudolph’s are also the ones who defy their job description, stick their snouts out, and are quickly labeled misfits.

It reminds me of the line Apple used (‘Think Different’) when it celebrated the ‘rebels’ and misfits’ who believed in the personal computer back in 1997. The narration went:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.”

Where do you find these  ‘square pegs’ and Rudolphs?

And when you do, what must you do to motivate them, and unleash their creativity?

Luckily I’m also having Jay Baer as a guest on the same show. He’s dealing with some of these prickly issues in a chapter in his upcoming book, The Now Revolution.

If you like to get some answers to some of these questions (or have some of your own), ping us via Twitter at @your3bl, or email me here: angelo AT hoipolloireport dot com

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