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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hiring Awareness Tip

Hiring people is always a crap-shoot, isn't it? We hope we're hiring the best person for the job, but it's really hard to tell what we're getting.

I learned a very important tip from a friend a couple of years ago that I wished I'd known way before then. He told me, "remember, when you're interviewing candidates, they are probably at their best right then. This is when they're minding their Ps and Qs. If you don't LOVE them during the interview, you probably won't later either."

I've hired a lot of people and a lot of them have been candidates who I thought were pretty good, but I didn't love them. What I sometimes did was convince myself and others that a) I just needed a body and it didn't matter that much what they were like as long as they didn't have a criminal record, b) the candidate was good enough, or c) that they probably just didn't interview that well and they'd get better. I was often wrong and regretted my decisions.

In business, we often have dual messaging coming at us or from us regarding hiring. The overt directive is typically to hire the best candidate (the one who can do the best job and gel with the rest of the team or organization) and not push the fit. The unspoken directive is to get a body right away. Now, rarely do both of these directives get accomplished simultaneously. Both are important, but the first one...don't push the fit...should take precedence every time. When you examine the cost in time and money and headaches to hire, train, discipline and terminate someone, it really doesn't make sense just to fill the position.

There's a lot more that goes into hiring than just my tip today, but still...if you don't love them during the interview, you probably won't love them later.

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