John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
Who could possibly think you’re a hiring risk? Any potential employer does. And if you don’t account for it in your approach, you could be reducing your value and, by extension, your paycheck.
You know that value is essentially a stream of benefits (usually cash) discounted by the risk of keeping and continuing them. In the eyes of an employer who is interviewing you, those benefits are you and your productivity. From your point of view, you have operated at a level of productivity long enough where you are that it’s normal to assume that benefit will continue. In this case, though, the employer knows a lot more about the risk than you do.
The employer knows, for example, the history of how new employees assimilate, how long it takes and where the potholes are. Your job is to learn more about that for yourself. While the boss will probably talk about it, the best source of perspective is would-be peers. (PRO TIP: If the employer doesn’t let you speak to them, it might be a place you ought to skip.)
Ask to speak to someone who a) has between twelve and twenty-four months at the firm. For this person, the assimilation experience is a recent enough memory to be helpful; it is also far enough in the rearview mirror to afford perspective. Here are some questions to ask:
- How long did it take for you to feel like you had your feet under you?
- How would you rate the process on a scale of one to ten, one being totally ad hoc and ten being well systematized?
- What did they do to help you get familiar with the model?
- Was there additional reading? On what subjects?
- What would your advice be to someone who wanted to get through that assimilation as quickly as possible?
Think about what you hear about risk. Consider how you can reduce it. Would you put in extra time to make your assimilation quicker? When you are talking to the employer at the end of the process and before an offer is on the table, make sure the employer knows that you know that there is risk. Talk about what you plan to do about it so he can see more value in you and maybe put more dollars in your offer.