...and neither is the candidate that you're meeting this week.
You see, recruiting is often anoptical illusion.What you see at first -during the interview- isn't what you get -once they join your team.
Sometimes, it's not even real at all.
A seemingly-strong candidate disappoints you later in the process (in which case you must decide whether to look the other way, proceed & hope for the best.)
Or a weak candidate grows on you as he advances thru the process.
Over & over, Mom told me not to judge a book by its cover. I never appreciated how right she was until I became anexecutive recruiter.
There are so just many ways that the mind -and the eyes- can mislead in this hiring process.
And -if you hope to land your fair share of Rockstars- you need to learn to set them aside.
Some of the most common illusions?
-Introverted.Research shows that the quiet type is generally perceived the have lower leadership skills. Yet, a2010 study at the University of Pennsylvania found that introverted leaders typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts.
-Attended a top school. That's nice, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they're right for your company or for the specific role. Plenty of my classmates from Wharton or Kellogg wouldn't be a match with a particular position.
-Short.The taller, the better. When it comes to hiring, height is correlated with leadership skills. Tell that to Winston Churchill and MLK, both 5'7"
-Lower voice. Unless you're hiring a baritone for your next opera, this one is irrelevant. Yet, interviewers associate it withgreater strength, integrity, and trustworthiness.
-Attractive.Multiple studiesshow that good-looking candidates are perceived to be morecompetent & intelligent.
-And the big one... first impression.We rely far too much on our 'gut feel' in the first 30 seconds. Posture? Good handshake? He looks straight out of central casting?Confirmation Biasleads us to draw an initial conclusion, and then spend the rest of the interview seeking data to confirm that hypothesis.
Mom would be disappointed.
Look, your brain is a complex place. What you see at first glance might not be what it seems.
But in recruiting, you've got to invest the time to peel back the onion layers. Ask yourself why you're so excited about this candidate. Ask your colleagues why they are. Reference check to validate your conclusions.
Otherwise, you'll have a ton of false-negatives (in which you turn away otherwise-amazing candidates for irrelevant reasons) and false-positives (in which case you hire for the wrong reasons. And then pay the price.)
You may be surprised...
...Pleasantly or not.
So what to do?
Force yourself to wait 30 minutes before drawing a conclusion after you meet a candidate. Mull it over. Let it swirl in your mind. Like a nice glass of cab.