As the general election approaches I thought I’d dig this blog out from the archive…I wrote it just after the Brexit Referendum result was published. I voted remain. How I’m going to vote in the election is a secret (even to me at this point). But I think the general gist remains relevant!

I thought, and I think, that we should stay in the EU. But that’s democracy – my view didn’t prevail. So now what should I do? Protest? Demand another referendum? Plenty of people are, and part of me hopes they succeed. But now that the decision has been made, I think we just need to get on and make the best of it.

The unfortunate reality of life, business and in particular job hunting or hiring is that we don’t always get to make perfect decisions in a perfect set of circumstances. We have to make pragmatic calls in a messy and changeable climate. Hiring is hard: and actually what has happened in Britain this week shows us three (probably more than three, but three will be quite enough for one blog) ways we can work through that challenge.

1.Making the best of what you’ve got is a virtue. Britain’s going to exit the EU. That’s pretty much a certainty. And I for one would rather that weren’t the case. But given that it is, we’re going to need to make it work. The only thing that can make this worse is if we descend into infighting and chaos. Someone’s going to have to step up and lead us through this, and we’re going to need to support them.

When you’re hiring, you might start out with a pretty tight brief. Someone with AWS experience, perhaps, and strong DevOps skills, and a good knowledge of something totally unrelated, and also the ability to transform your sales pipeline, and leap tall buildings in a single bound. But that person doesn’t exist. So you have to compromise – and then you have to work with the person and the team you’ve got to make things work. Actually, the companies that prosper in hiring aren’t the ones who can magically hire the perfect candidate every time, but the ones who can hire great candidates, use their strengths and cover their weaknesses.

2. Sometimes a moment of crisis can be a catalyst for growth. I was working in Australia when the Dot Com bubble burst. I got completely hung out to dry – all my customers were consultancies who promptly either went bust or shrank by about 25%. I had a very ropey year indeed. But I had a boss with the patience to see how I reacted (cheers Hughsie) and a year later I had a completely new customer base, diversified to avoid the same thing again, and containing within it Microsoft Australia, who went on to be the biggest customer that business ever had. I don’t want to go through another Dot Com year. But without it, I’d never have found a customer that transformed my career.

A lot of the work I do now is helping businesses make an absolutely crucial strategic hire. Often that is extremely difficult, and more often than not it is under significant time pressure. But that feeling of crisis inevitably creates a close working relationship, and decisions are made that result in a hire that fits the bill – even if it might be from an unexpected source. It’s never failed yet. It’s the challenge that prompts the decisions that make the next steps possible. Don’t be afraid to be flexible when the circumstances demand it.

3. Life continues when wrong decisions are made. The Brexit result is massive. It will change life in Britain for many years. But it’s not the apocalypse. Life goes on; there are many, many countries in the world with much more significant problems.

More often than not, making a decision is the best option. The call might be right or wrong, but either way you move forward. Paralysis is never a positive. So every now and again, roll the dice. Be bold. Keep moving forward. Your team will go with you but they will not have much patience if they sniff indecision and a stagnating business.

As for Brexit? I don’t know what happens next. But someone is going to take hold of it and make history. Every crisis is an opportunity.

At Vocative Consulting, we work alongside companies to help them find the very best IT hires for critical roles – we believe recruitment is an art, not just a science.

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