It’s hard, if not impossible, to make the hiring process an exact science. While establishing a systematic approach to talent search will certainly improve the outcomes, there is still an art to choosing your next new team member. Every recruiter, HR director and hiring manager has theories about why one hiring selection goes smoothly and another one goes awry, and as many good leaders can tell you, it is often about the timing.
Like all theories, they get debated, passed around, and sometimes even debunked. Over the years, they can become codified and cast in cement, when actually they often should be cast out the window.
Here is a look at three common beliefs about hiring you might not realize are making your candidate selection process harder, not easier.
I Will Find the Perfect Candidate
Like every good manager or recruiter, you have put together a full list of criteria and a comprehensive job description. Do you see it as your job to make sure that the candidate you choose meets every single one of them?
You will be looking for an exceptionally long time. The perfect candidate seldom exists. If you do find one who looks like a flawless fit, he or she will often turn out to be not as ideal as presented once on the job.
Oftentimes, managers measure a prospect by modeling using their most effective, successful employees — a practice called bench marking. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as it is used as a flexible tool, not a rigid requirement.
You need to be realistic. Leaving a job unfilled because Ms. Perfect has not presented herself can be detrimental to workflow and morale. Hiring almost always requires a certain amount of juggling with quality, cost and time. Each hire requires some level of risk based on what requirements are not met. Good managers know that past experience and success are generally the best predictor of future outcomes.
Determine the level of risk you can take with a new candidate. What are the absolute musts when it comes to education and training, and the intangibles like attitude? Then work out how much the unfilled job is costing your company.
How long is it reasonable to wait, as you look for the best prospect? According to the Harvard Business Review, you need to calculate the time the recruiter spends and the time of those covering the tasks of the job that stays empty. This is costing the company money.
When you use best practices for candidate selection, and learning to spot a good, if not perfect, fit, you don’t waste time, and money. By giving up “perfect,” you allow yourself to choose talented people that can grow with the company.
Job History Indicates Company Loyalty
It hasn’t been true for at least a decade, and probably more like two decades, but the idea lingers that people who move around every two, three or four years are not good hires.
If you see multiple jobs on a resume in a fairly brief period of time, it no longer needs to mean the candidate is flaky. It’s just as likely the potential hire is ambitious and working to advance their career.
According to a study by Spherion, a staffing company, less than 10% of companies now consider a candidate’s employment status more important than their potential performance and ability to fit into the company’s culture. Business News Daily says the “right kind of job hopper” can make an incredibly effective contribution.
While moving jobs every year is not typically a good sign, listen to the reasons before jumping to conclusions.
Candidates Must Have Relevant Work Experience
On the surface, it makes a lot of sense to look for a candidate with practical, relevant experience with the specific job you are filling. Whether it is from an internship or an actual job, it means the person understands the basics of the job and has some context for it.
But according to the CEO of GradStaff, Robert LaBombard, the goal of a good hiring manager is to attract lots of candidates who have a real interest in the company, without worrying too much about their major in college or their specific work experience.
He suggests focusing on transferable skills like the ability to think critically, manage time and communicate well. And be open to a variety of experience. Check to see if candidates are involved in student government, some type of nonprofessional service and retail experience.
These are just a few of the common misconceptions that interfere with a smooth hiring process. The more open you are in the hiring process, the more likely you are to find good employees who can develop with your company, expanding into their roles. Focus on individuals instead of inflexible rules.
Interested in uncovering a few others and developing a hiring plan that ensures you bring the best talent to your team in the shortest amount of time possible? At Cerca Talent+, we are here to help you become limitless.
Together, we will exercise a disciplined, daily practice of finding the very best possible professionals with whom you can develop the kind of great reputation that will lead your company to Exceed Expectations. We will help you reach indeterminate growth by expanding your team with A+ Players focused on delivering work they love and who embrace exponential growth. Reach out, today, to Scott Rivers at
Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Diagnostic and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Life Sciences, Oncology and Genetics. His team manages recruitment for all levels within the commercial area of these businesses.
As a leader who has worked at all levels of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who works with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside.
Cerca Talent+ is a full-service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose to work with Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results.
That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at