April 28, 2009
Ken Clark: Economy Offers Opportunity to Attract New Talent to Yellow Pages
In a break out session this afternoon, Ken Clark suggested that the fallout from the current economic recession could have a silver lining: new talent.
Ken, who has over 25 years of experience in the Yellow Pages and now recruits for the industry, said that in the last year we’ve migrated from a “war for talent” to a “bumper year of overqualified resumes.”
The glut of experience in the market presents an interesting opportunity when placed against another key observation – that the Yellow Pages has had a hard time in recent years attracting fresh high-quality college grads who are dazzled by other “emerging” industries.
Putting the two together – Ken encouraged employers to resist the urge to disqualify a candidate because they seem too overqualified.
“In some cases older, more experienced candidates have been overlooked because they already had management experience or because they didn’t have Yellow Pages experience, specifically. This is a shame. We have a unique opportunity to shake things up and bring in some new talent – some fresh ideas.”
Yellow Pages might do well, he added, to take this moment to rewrite their skill set models. Rather than industry experience, employers should be looking for specific traits and qualities that lend well to the industry.
“Hire athletes,” he said. “Athletes are open to being trained, they understand structure, they are good team players and can get back up after failing and try, try again.”