It happens all the time. You have an opening on your team and you are in the interviewing process. You went through your standard behavior-based interview questions, poked and probed at several key competencies, and had some good laughs about favorite sports teams or in my case, favorite chocolate desserts. When you exited the interview, you thought “I like Bob/Jill/Joe/Kate…” You told your recruiting team who the not-great candidates were, “they just get it” or, “my gut says no.” Now you have a list of candidates that will advance in the process. Take another look. Are the candidates who are advancing, well, um, a lot like you?
We are all drawn to people who are like us. These people make us feel good, really good. Hiring managers are often leaders; the driven, passionate, make-it-happen-now kind of people, experts-in-a-lot-of-stuff people. We would love to have a whole company filled with people just like us. The reality is, project deadlines are missed, equipment is not maintained, finances are a mess, marketing sucks, and sales are down. All because the people we hired are just like us. They have the same skills and capabilities, they also have the same blind spots and hang-ups. No diversity in skills, thinking, learning and planning means that the business and customers won’t get what is needed.
Of course we need to find team members who we are compatible with, because we will be spending a lot of time with our co-workers. More importantly, we need to hire the person who has the skill set for the job we need done. A sales manager role requires a different skill set than an operations manager. A marketing director role requires a different skill set than a finance director. A receptionist role requires a different skill set than an IT help desk person.
Do you have a hiring process that is pragmatic and systematic in determining what is needed versus the who is apply? Have you given enough thought and validation to the skills for a particular role?
There is value in teams understanding that people who have opposite skill sets are needed to support each functional role – even if those people drive you bonkers, daily.
With a little planning, an open mind, and some science in the hiring process, it’s amazing how effective a team can be.