Why You Should Never Hire the Perfect Candidate

As a recruiter, your ultimate goal is to finderecruit enterprise staffing software the ideal candidate with the credentials and experience that perfectly correspond to the position’s multifaceted requirements.  You already know the best interview tactics to utilize and how to write a solid job description to attract candidates who are perfect for the position, because that’s what you’re aiming for, right?

Actually, according to experienced IT executive and author Harwell Thrasher, you should be hiring the person who is perfect for the company, not necessarily perfect for the position. Some may be caught quite off guard by this distinction because one would think that a candidate who is perfect for the job is also perfect for the company.

Thrasher insists that there is a major difference and it affects how you conduct the entire hiring process. He says:

A job is a task-oriented view of the business. Jobs are constantly changing because business needs are constantly changing. The best person for a job is the person who can do right now exactly what needs to be done right now. But due to the rate of change in business, it’s unlikely that what needs to be done right now is what will be needed tomorrow.  Requirements will change, customers will change, business processes will change, the world will evolve.

So what I really need is not someone who can do today's job today--I need someone who can do tomorrow's job tomorrow, and then continue to evolve to be able to do day-after-tomorrow's job day-after-tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.

What I’m talking about is a person who can grow with the growing needs of the business, and this adds an additional dimension to the hiring requirement. If I hire the best person for the job then I’m going to hire a one-trick pony.

For those of you recruiting for positions where the skillset is very specific and unlikely to evolve, Thrasher has an answer for you:

"If you really have a requirement that specific then you're better off bringing in a contractor for the job instead of hiring. You can subcontract the best person for the job, but you should never hire such a person. One-trick ponies have no place as employees — they’ll prevent your business from growing and evolving."

Instead of seeking an expert in the field with the specific skills needed for the position, you should refocus your recruiting efforts on the candidate’s ability to adapt.   Too often, we get caught up in the specifics outlined in the job description without focusing on the company as a whole. Company culture is one of the most important aspects of hiring. If the candidate doesn’t fit into the company culture, no matter how perfect they are for the position, it is a bad hiring decision. This is why it’s so important to determine organizational fit first thing during the interview process.  Questions that focus on fit and adaptability are crucial in determining who will be the next great hire for the company, not just the position.

Like what you've read?  Read more of our posts at: blog.erecruit.com/blog

Originally posted by erecruit

Views: 5850

Comment by Jason Alba on November 29, 2012 at 11:32am

I love this Meghan. I was going to write about this, based on the title, and say how ignorant recruiters are... being the best fit isn't good enough!  But, after I read the post, I totally, 100% agree with you.  Thank you for sharing this - I shared it with my readers in another blog post :) 

Comment by Meghan Doherty on November 29, 2012 at 11:38am

Thanks so much for sharing Jason! Glad you enjoyed our post.  If you're interested in reading more of our articles, check out our blog: http://blog.erecruit.com/erecruit-blog-subscription

Comment by Alex Roberts on November 29, 2012 at 11:53am

Yea Meghan, this is good stuff.  I had a candidate interview about five years back and she did Not have all of the specific pieces the client wanted (it was an SAP Techno-Functional role).  After the interview the hiring manager said, "We like her, and she is very smart and can learn new things.  Most importantly she fits in wonderfully with the team, user community, etc."  She was hired, has thrived like all get out, and is now a manager.   I wish companies/managers would think this way versus be so caught up on some specific ingredient of a job description...    

Comment by Jason Alba on November 29, 2012 at 11:54am

Alex, job seekers wish that too :) 


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