By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
Have you ever made a wish and hoped that simply wishing would make things different? That thought ran through my mind recently. As a successful Employment Consultant for over thirty (30) years, I was surprised last week in working to help employers make the match with qualified candidates to have three turndowns, two no shows on company interviews and four counter offers. Not to mention that we have an unprecedented talent shortage and qualified candidates are just not available.
And then I came across a quote by Aristotle that really spoke to me. It says: “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” And of course the second Step of the Faremouth Method is “Ask Better Questions.” During these changing and challenging times I’ve been asking myself, how can we seek the light in the dark moments we are experiencing in the employment market in 2023?
Then I thought of Dandelions.
Dandelions, also known as Chicory, are masters of survival. They can take root in paces that seem a little short of miraculous and I believe we all can do that, too. We can survive the most difficult situations as our own masters of survival.
As a Recruiter in the midst of so many changes in the employment world, what are the possible lessons that Dandelions could possibly impart that would help employers and prospective and current employees deal with these uncertain times? Dandelions do have a legend that relates to blowing on the dried flowers and thinking about dreams coming true as the seeds blow in the air, sending our hopes in all directions. I believe there are valuable lessons we can glean from our friend the Dandelion and I thank my dear Grandmother, Mimi, for sharing her wisdom with me when I was a child.
I am reminded of one hot summer day sitting on the front porch with Mimi. My grandmother lived next door in my childhood, and we spent a good deal of time together. As I try to settle into the myriad of changes in the employment market, I find myself recalling the many lessons I learned from her wisdom. Things I resisted as a young girl. Habits I adopted as I grew into adulthood and ways of being that I am just now beginning to understand.
The words “strong constitution” or the popular term we hear so much about these days, “strong mindset” describes my grandmother. She had a strong mind of her own and taught me many things. As we looked out over the lawn and noticed all the Dandelions, she immediately informed me that Dandelions, or Chicottia as she called them in her Italian slang, were quite possibly the most successful plants that exist, worldwide.
She told me that while they are the most unpopular plant in the neighborhood and often considered a weed, it wasn’t always that way. In earlier times, the golden blossoms with lion-toothed leaves were praised as a bounty of food, medicine, and magic.
I remember her picking the Chicottia with a long paring knife, washing them and eating them like a salad. She told me the vitamins they contained were unique and if you ate them often it would clean out your liver and keep you healthy. Mimi lived to the ripe old age of almost 90, and she ate mainly what came out of her nutritious garden in the backyard. Besides her diet of healthy food for her physical body, she had a heart of gold and was all about helping others and making the best out of any situation which enhanced her mental and spiritual body as well.
Let’s look at some of the magical, meaningful lessons I learned from Dandelions and how these lessons might be applied during these challenging employment market times:
1. Dandelions are masters of survival
How can we make a determined effort to master our own survival and that of our client companies and candidates with the many challenges we all our facing in the employment arena? With the generational differences in mindset, unprecedented talent shortages, hybrid demands that are not well received by many companies, etc., how can we consider changing our experience requirements, doing more cross training, and being more flexible in our requirements so that our processes and procedures are a win-win for all involved?
2. Dandelions understand change
Over the centuries Dandelions were seen as food, medicine, a lovely flower and then a weed. But so many things we see as weeds might reveal beautiful flower-like qualities from the seeds we are now planting. What if we consider hiring a person that has similar transferrable skills but the desire and passion to do the job who might also live close to the office, be available to help out in other departments because of their previous experience, and not have the high salary expectation that a candidate who checked all the requirement boxes would demand?
3. Dandelions are creative with their Resources
Just like my Grandmother found all the benefits of the Dandelion, how can we considered the benefits of different generational mindsets, looking at raw talent that could be trained and developed, and working more toward cross training for the expansion and benefit of all involved? This talent shortage could persist well into the late 2030’s or beyond, as reported by Amy Danise in a recent Forbes Leadership Article. If we don’t decide to implement new and different ways of hiring now, we could severely damage our production goals and ultimately have a negative effect on the bottom line.
Let the lessons and strength of the Dandelion allow you to focus on your own inner light. Don’t forget to use these lessons, whether you are a hiring authority or a prospective or current employee, they can help you invest in your strength and hard work, doubling down on that wish for meaningful and productive employment methods, and they can help you make that wish come true!
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.