Can you imagine if you evaluated candidates for your executive hire the way voters hire the President of the United States (POTUS)?
It’s a unique opportunity for American hiring manager voters. In no other context can they legally hire based on any objective or subjective criteria – gender, race, religion, fiscal or social policy, cadence of speech or anything at all. I’ve been asked if I’m going to vote for Hillary “because she’s a woman.” My response is that my objective recruiter DNA doesn’t allow a gender-based decision.
Not only is it allowed, but strong appeals through every communication mode possible are made very specifically based on these criteria and without disguise.
Such a contrast with the significant resources companies invest in hiring diverse team members and adding diversity to boards. The word I think of is irony. Maybe even hypocrisy? “Do as I say (think piles of employment regulation being released daily), not as I do.”
As a professional striving to ensure unbiased hiring and seeing significant progress, it’s been tough these last 18 months. Tough to watch such a subjective, explosively emotional, heals-dug-in, ears closed, process unfold.
We’ve heard “highly qualified” and “experienced” during the campaign. On the surface those words seem to be relevant. My trained ear makes no assumption that “experience” equals achievement. Too many resumes purport lengthy fluff and no meaningful stuff. Too many lists of responsibilities without a result that I could tell on paper.
Too bad that neither candidate shared much about past accomplishments that would contribute to his/her success as the POTUS. I was hoping for more from both of them on that point.
But why bother? So many Americans are hard wired for 140-character, surface communication. A discussion about results and goals begs a thoughtful attention span beyond the little blue bird limits.
Many companies work to develop objective approaches to hiring the best, even at the staff level. It’s not just because they are prohibited by law from discriminating on most everything other than skills and competencies, but because it’s the right thing to do for the success of the company and the team.
It’s true that some hiring person may say, “I could” or “I couldn’t”….”see myself having a beer with that person,” which could be construed as a narrow criteria for hiring. I wouldn’t take that statement literally, but merely as a proxy for the importance of many cultural fit components. “Gut” feeling does matter, but it’s in the context of many touch points, the sum of which will lead you to the right hiring decision.
The stakes are high. The divide has never been so great or so scary. But sadly, I see tomorrow’s Presidential election like going to the grocery store without a list. On that particular store visit, you just pile in whatever looks good that day. Your preferences change with the way your stomach growls and whatever blue light special is loudest. You're not too worried about the ingredients of fat, protein, carbohydrates - meaningful calories for your body - or empty calories.
We can help you invest time to objectively define what success looks like in the role so your hire has a high chance of success. You don’t want a cart of mismatched ingredients after you’ve checked out.