Hiring is hard, there is no doubt about that. It can be an imperfect science since your role as a hiring manager is to evaluate whether or not a person you’ve never met before will be a good long-term fit for your organization. Because of all the uncertainty involved in hiring, there is also a lot of advice provided by anyone who has ever done it before. Some of this so-called perfect advice can be deceiving, so be careful to follow anything that is said to be fool-proof. Here are the top three lies about hiring that you should ignore.
1. You can learn everything you need from a resume.
Many hiring managers assume a resume is a complete picture of a candidate. Yet, candidates are specifically advised not to put every last piece of information on a resume. Consider that most people have enough experience in their lives to fill a book, not just two pages of bullet points. A resume is just an introduction, and hiring managers would do well to use it for that purpose. Use it to determine if someone is generally qualified for your role. Use some of their accomplishments to decide if they might be a fit for your company. Then pick up the phone. Talk to the candidate about what they’ve done and, more importantly, who they are as a person.
2. Hiring a passive candidate is better than an active one.
There is also a bias in HR and staffing that the holy grail of perfect employees is someone still working. That’s a passive candidate. A person who is currently employed and not looking for a new position. Which means they need to be recruited away from their good job to work for you. If they are so easily swayed, will they do the same to you in the future for a better offer? An active candidate is someone who is looking for a new job either due to unemployment or dissatisfaction. They are people willing to be proactive about their careers. If you decide to only hire one or the other, you could be missing out on some great working relationships.
3. There is no such thing as a perfect hire.
Yes, it is possible to find an individual who checks all your boxes. They exist, but they may not take the form you’re expecting. A perfect hire isn’t someone who is a clone of your successful individuals. They aren’t someone who reminds you of you earlier in your career. A perfect candidate can take many forms, the important part is to be open to different kinds of perfection. You can hold out for someone you think is perfect for your open job, but understand that you may be rejecting other perfect candidates along the way and not even know it.