Our mission is to meet or exceed client expectations. Our challenge is to unify voices and tease out the wants vs the needs, the must-haves vs. the nice-to-haves and to make sure that expectations are both identified and realistic. Sounds simple, right?
Many times the hiring process gets bogged down when there’s a crowd of voices without an agreed-upon desired candidate profile. This is where subjectivity enters the process.
Hiring by committee can bring the recruiting process to a grinding halt because people subjectively evaluate talent based on their expectations and then the gridlock of “yeah, but” settles in as each person tries to advance the candidate that best meets their personal expectations. Everyone wants the same thing….only different. Consensus is paramount or it’s like herding cats.
To help head this off, here’s what companies should do before going into the market:
First and foremost…
Who will be making the hiring decision? Whose input on the decision is critical and why? Evaluate the current position holder (if applicable) – What was done well and what areas need improvement in the position? What’s the scope of responsibility? Who will this person report to? Who will report to this person? What is “mission critical” for this person?
Managers should get together to “drill down” on essential functions which leads to both an outline for your Executive Search Partner and an interview “template” and assists in getting everyone on the same page.
Gathering input before the interview from relevant managers alleviates the need for everyone to be involved in the in-person interviews.
Once the candidate enters the interview process…
Avoid a string of individual interviews all asking the same questions. Technical qualifications should have been established via initial phone screens. The in-person interview should be more big picture/soft-skill focused.
After the interviews are complete, individuals critical to the hiring decision should meet to discuss their impressions. It’s important to remember that candidates that have progressed to the in-person interview stage of the process can do the job; the only remaining question for the client is “Can they do this job for OUR company?”
No doubt making a critical hiring decision is difficult, requires a great deal of thought, and has a big impact on an organization. The problem is, as Kris Dunn, a contributing editor at Workforce observes, “The argument in favor of multiple interviews is that it gives more people a chance to gauge cultural fit….but it hasn’t proved to be very effective…”
Anyone who’s been a part of this “hiring by committee” approach knows how difficult it is to build consensus after the fact. It complicates and elongates the hiring process, is repetitive for the candidate and exhausting for everyone…and, most importantly, does not yield a better result.
The “Yeah, buts” can drag out the process until the inevitable happens – the top-choice candidate moves on and the position remains open because of unrealistic, unattainable expectations for the perfect candidate. Nobody is happy. This is the real hiring mistake.
Getting everyone on the same page can be difficult but it’s imperative this step is complete before interviewing begins. It’s much easier to meet everyone’s expectations when all are looking for the same thing. So when a need arises, get everyone together and collaborate on the desired candidate profile. This will greatly simplify the process and lead to a smooth, timely professional process of evaluation that yields the result everyone seeks….SUCCESS!