We came across this recent article, The Myth of Finding the “Perfect Hire” by Jan Tegze and it struck a note with us. We regularly hear from Candidates who don’t understand why they can’t get interviews for positions they’ve applied for because they don’t have “the perfect background.” And, Indeed, we’re often the very ones telling them that our clients have created tight selection criteria they can’t match with. Now, we fully understand why companies want to only hire “job ready” candidates – it minimizes ramp up and lessens the risk of failure. And we understand that it’s our job to find those “job ready” candidates and uncover a motive for them to make the move to our client even if they’re already performing the role our client wants them to perform. For years, I’ve used the phrase “we start out looking for the perfect candidate and inevitably hire an excellent candidate” to introduce the concept that hireable candidates seldom tick every single box on our clients’ selection criteria. We hope that client’s will allow us some flexibility, narrowing in on the “must have” qualifications separating them from the “nice to have” qualifications.
We’re constantly reminded that the talent pool has become shallow following the recession of 2008-11. As companies laid staff off or closed, unemployed people were forced to take jobs of convenience that didn’t necessarily advance their careers and people who remained employed in downsized companies didn’t get the career advancement opportunities they preferred. Now, years later, as the Boomer Generation retires, there are fewer internal and external candidates to source “job ready” successors from. This conspires to make the “Perfect Hire” even harder to find and can leave positions vacant for months. As Mr. Tegze points out, there are times when companies might be wiser to adjust their selection criteria and hire candidates with enough fundamental experience to step up into the job at hand and then support their growth toward 100% competency. Of course, companies must have the resources and talent to surround those new hires with support, nurturing and allow for learning to catch up with responsibilities. Sometimes, our clients just don’t have those resources in place or the time to allow for a significant learning curve and we must recruit the “Perfect Hire” – it’s our job and we do it with pleasure.
Enjoy the Article! ~ Jim Fairfax