HIRED AT FIRST SIGHT?

One of the more popular offerings in the reality TV genre is a show called “Married at First Sight,” in which couples agree to marry each other upon their first meeting.  Sounds crazy, right?

Well, how often do we make a hiring decision on the basis of ONE quick interview? Certainly, most higher-level positions involve a second or even third interview, but all too often in our hurry to bring entry-level staff on board, we tend to cut to the chase.

That’s especially true in this weird pandemic era of “job reluctance”—defined by a decided lack of urgency on the part of eligible workforce candidates. You may be so desperate to fill a vacancy that you sign up the first warm body to show up for your Zoom interview.

Well, don’t.

You’ve all seen those time studies that compare the amount of time you spend with your real families versus your work families—and they’re pretty close.  Hiring an important position for your team too quickly really IS like marrying at first sight—and can frequently yield similarly disastrous results.

The annals of business lore are chock full of recruiting and hiring nightmares. New employees are eager to get to work, who you make an offer to and never see or hear from again. Candidates who look great on paper, and can’t figure out how to turn on their laptop.  “Experienced” pros whose book of business ends up consisting of neighbors and family members.

There are many ways to avoid these nightmares, but most of them boil down to two things: planning and research.

The first should be a given: recruiting in today’s environment is an all-season sport, and if you don’t already have an established process to seek and find talent, you need to create one ASAP.

And the second is, in a way, easier than it’s ever been. The social media age is frequently blamed for any number of society’s ills, but one thing is inarguable: anyone can pretty much find out anything about anybody just about any time.

And if you’re about to make a hiring decision without an exploration of your candidate’s social media history, hit the brakes and start surfing.  I’m not just talking about the devastating missteps that have scuttled any number of top-level public appointments. More simply, it’s just a fundamental way to learn more about your candidate.

What are their passions? What are their goals? What do they value in life? What kind of experiences do they share? Their social media presence may tell you much more than their resume.

I’m not suggesting you hire somebody who owns a Great Dane and enjoys skiing, just because you do. But taken in summation, these are clues as to that great and often indefinable thing called “organizational fit.” They augment your more objective assessment of skills and attributes with some of those less tangible characteristics that must always be taken into account.

And one more thing–once you’ve done your research and made a selection, don’t expect your candidate to necessarily accept your engagement ring without some additional negotiating. 

In our current day and age, recruiting and hiring are more than ever “sales” functions—you need to be prepared to “sell” the applicant on the value of your vacant position, the key advantages working for your organization can offer, and what makes you different from—and better than—all of the other potential employers out there.

Yes, folks, what you’ve heard on the evening news is true—the recruiting and hiring game isn’t what it used to be. But by being smart and strategic—and not jumping the gun (or the broom) too quickly—you can still end up with the right addition to your family. Which can help you to… GROW BIG…OR GO HOME!