A child learning - representing a worker's career development

Why the perfect candidate is NOT the best candidate.

Here at Blues Point we have a meeting every morning to talk about the status of our various recruitment assignments, and our plans for the day ahead. But in direct contravention of scrum meeting best practice we also talk about the previous night’s TV, the weather, and the meaning of life.

Having dealt with all of that, we focussed this morning on one role in particular – a difficult one to fill. It’s particularly hard because the hiring manager has a very specific idea of what he is looking for, and is unwilling to compromise. In effect, he wants to clone the person who has recently resigned.

This is a mistake.

Think about it: the incumbent worker has been in the role for 2 years (a reasonable return these days) and she’s no longer challenged by it. Quite understandably, she’s moving to a company that can offer her more scope for career development.

Therefore, recruiting someone who is already at this level isn’t going to work!  If they did this they might get some short-term continuity, but they will find themselves in the same position again when that person also decides to leave.

This hiring manager needs to look at potential.

Our recruitment strategy

We have a strong candidate in the frame, with the right attitude, the right industry experience, and real motivation, but the client is hesitating because this particular candidate doesn’t have as much experience as the last person.

But this lack of experience is precisely why they should take him on! If you want to employ the best people, you need to offer them the chance to develop their career in a meaningful way.

We are going to recommend that this hiring manager interviews the candidate again, but this time around the focus should be on the interviewee’s attitude and his ability to learn – in other words, his potential to grow into the role.

We will also recommend that he uses the Thomas PPA to assess behaviours, and the Thomas GIA to assess how quickly someone can pick up new information.

But the most effective tool of all is an open mind. We’re going to recommend that he uses this as well.

Which is easier said than done!