Following the Lines of Trust


What is the most effective way to hire an executive in a different Caribbean country?

Is it a matter of finding the right newspaper to place the best advertisement in?

Or does it have something to do with finding the best online employment job board to use?

I have found myself giving a different kind of advice to different companies across the region.

The reason why an advertisement might work in-country is that there already exists a certain amount of trust between the reader and the company. The company that tries the same approach, however, will easily run into problems when they apply it to a different country.

What should be done?

My hypothesis is that Caribbean professionals change jobs when they believe they can trust the company, board and the executives that are doing the hiring. I think that there is a threshold of trust that must exist for a top executive to change jobs, and the better the executive, the higher the threshold.

The two exceptions are not attractive ones. A desperate executive might take an job that looks half-decent. A greedy one may take be willing to work for anyone who bids the highest.

(This is where Jamaica may be very different from Trinidad and Barbados, both now and in the foreseeable future. Both Barbados and Trinidad are virtually at full employment, and there is no shortage of executive opportunities given the barriers to entry that exist for professionals. Jamaica’s economy remains in the doldrums, yet it remains a relatively easy country to gain entry to work.)

I have been advising clients and colleagues who are engaging in job searches to conduct the search through warm channels, using people that they already know, and friends of friends. In other words, follow the lines of trust.

These lines of trust run through each of our countries, and in the smaller countries, they play an even more important role.

Perhaps hiring the right executive is all about following the lines of trust until they reach the right person.