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Why The Perfect Candidate Is NEVER Perfect

04.22.15   |   Job Search & Career   |   Sean Cashman, Division Manager, at Treeline, Incorporated

the perfect candidate does not existThere are so many factors to consider when you meet a potential candidate for your team, but the three questions you must ask yourself before moving forward with an offer are:

  • Do they have the appropriate background and experience?
  • Do they appear to fit into your team’s culture?
  • Does their story make sense?

These are all the basics to interviewing.  Most of our clients do a good job vetting out their candidates to make sure they check all these boxes.  Where our clients will take a misstep is when they fail to look for the negative.  Companies should be able to identify the red flags, just as quickly as they can read the accolades on a resume.  Hiring managers should be able to gage what a candidate looks like on his/her worst day. 

There is also no such thing as the "Perfect Candidate."  Everyone has baggage…it is just a question on whether you and your team can handle that baggage.

Here are some quick, yet affective ways to gain a better understanding of your candidates’ red flags…if there are any. 

  • The Negative Sell – At some point during your interview process (or throughout your process) be sure to tell your candidate about the toughest parts of the job. Sure, you want to tell them how great you are but anyone can do your job when things are going well.  What you want to discover about your candidate is how they perform when the sky is falling.  Do they get scared and look to jump ship or do they dig in their heels and work.? When describing the toughest parts and biggest challenges of the job, gage the candidate’s reactions, their body language, and see if they are real.
  • Qualify the Candidate’s Story – As they are walking through their resume, stop them and ask specific questions on their activity, their quota, their W2 history. How well do they know their numbers?  Do they give direct answers to your direct answers? And most importantly, does their math add up?  If it doesn’t, then they are probably not telling the full truth or are trying to avoid talking about something in their background.
  • Google/Internet Search – Some of our clients will check references and some even do back ground checks (credit, criminal, drug, education, etc).  Some of our clients do not.  Whatever your company does, my recommendation is if you meet a candidate and you like him/her do a simple Google search. You will be amazed at what you could find with a simple search.  Check out the candidate’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.  Don’t let this be a make or break, but an opportunity to educate yourself.  You are considering this person for your team, so you want to make sure they are keeping a clean profile online.

I am not suggesting that you should always be guarded and look for the worst in people. Instead, take the good with the…not so good. A major component hiring mangers base their hiring decisions is trust. Do they trust this person to help grow the company? If you’re gut feeling says otherwise, keep searching for the perfect fit…or someone close enough to it.

 

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