Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Best Qualified Candidate Rarely Gets Hired

That may get your attention. Generally when I present to groups on the topic of interviewing, people ask about the interviewing process.

How many times have you sat in an interview and wondered, “How will this person (the hiring manager) be able to determine if I am the best qualified candidate? Instead of probing my experience, capabilities, and motivations, he/she just asked me what kind of tree I would choose to be.”

Let’s examine the process in most companies. A person excels in their current position and gets management’s attention. They are promoted. What happens next? They need to learn their new position and fill the position in their organization that they just vacated. A replacement employee requisition is requested and now the Human Resource Department and Recruiters are sourcing candidates. Candidates are produced and given to the new Hiring Manager to interview.

Where in this process is this Hiring Manager taught how to interview? If they have not been trained how to interview, they certainly have not been trained how to select the best qualified candidate. How does that lack of training impact most companies?

1) The Hiring Manager may not hire the person who will make the key contribution that will propel a company forward;
2) The candidate they do hire may be a good tactical hire but not a good strategic hire – and will leave when they no longer are able to make impacts;
3) Worse yet, they may stay and no longer make significant contributions;
4) Employee retention will become an increasing problem. The wrong person is hired and that impacts the performance of the entire team.

If you hear a Hiring Manager say that an offer should be made to Mr./Ms. Candidate because it feels good in their gut, remember that guts are really good for storing and processing food, not selecting candidates.

If companies expect to hire better performers without training the decision makers on the selection process, it sounds suspiciously like doing the same things and expecting different results, doesn’t it?