In business, sometimes we have to rely on our instincts when it comes to making important decisions. However, when it comes time to recruit for a key position within your company, relying on instinct can be dangerous. We must not lose sight that hiring an additional resource targets a specific business need.
In the case of SMEs, hiring a person can push the young company to the next level or, alternatively, drag it down. It is therefore essential to analyze the good things in an interview and not be distracted by trivial elements that do not bring added value. Beware of common errors in perception:
- First impression errors: too often we exclude a candidate at the time of the first handshake. Nervousness in the first few minutes should not prevent us from focusing on skill-related tasks.
- Halo effect: Sometimes we positively or negatively evaluate a candidate because we are dazzled by a single fact. For example, a candidate who has won a prestigious award that you admire, but who has no capabilities connected to the posting. Another example would be a candidate who has failed a math class, while the posting has no connection with numbers.
- Mirror Effect: You meet a candidate who comes from the same neighborhood as you and who shares the same interests.
- Contrast Error: When you meet an average candidate, who seems great after a series of poor candidates. You are then evaluate the average candidate to be much better than in reality.
To avoid making these mistakes, using a structured interview process is highly recommended. The process should include:
- Questions based on the needs and realities of the position.
- The same questions asked to all the candidates.
- Questions about professional knowledge.
- Questions about past behavior.
Depending on the position to be filled, it is often recommended to use knowledge, performance, or personality tests to have an objective and fair assessment.
If you think you might commit the mistakes cited above, do not hesitate to have a neutral third party as a recourse to evaluate candidates according to the structured process.
It goes without saying that the final decision will be the manager’s, but if the structured process has been respected, undesirable profiles for the position will have been excluded from the final round of selection.
A manager can always resort to his instinct for the final decision, as they will have the assurance that they will be deciding amongst a limited number of qualified candidates