Volume 20: Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat?Roy

This question that will be asked by millions of kids around the country this Saturday is also a question that crosses the mind of every Recruiter and HR person when a new resume crosses their desk.

Is this Candidate the hidden treasure your company has been looking for to perfectly fill your open position? Or is he another total dud?

Probably neither.

The reality is that every candidate, every person even, is a little bit of trick AND treat. Does that mean every person is the right fit for every search? Absolutely not. However, it’s important to note that while Hiring Managers like to pretend that there’s a candidate tailor-made perfectly for their opening, the reality is that it’s an off the rack talent market.

This young Supervisor has just a couple of years of experience and a lot to learn.

This Supervisor has 25 years of experience, but has never managed anywhere near the number of people he would be over in your plant.

This Technician is a mechanical genius, but is a major hot head.

This Plant Manager has only run hard-driving, Integrated behemoth plants and lacks experience using the softer-touch approach employed at your smaller, Independent plant.

The point is: every person, and therefore every candidate, has quirks, flaws and gaps in knowledge. There are no perfect candidates, because there are no perfect people. The best candidates are going to have flaws, and the worst candidates are going to have redeeming qualities that make you take a second look.

However, as SCARY as this realization might be, all is not lost.

In lots of cases, flaws or gaps in knowledge can be overcome:

That young Supervisor can lean on the experience of Superintendents and Plant Managers to grow into the type of leader your company needs.

That Supervisor that has never managed a department your size can lean on strong Shift Leads until he gets his bearings.

And sometimes, you’re going to be wrong:

You hired and isolated that hot-headed Technician to try to keep his temper in check, but eventually things are going to boil over.

That Plant Manager that only knows one way to drive results isn’t going to change his stripes overnight into a softer touch. He’s going to ruffle a lot of feathers, maybe too many feathers, before positive results are achieved.


At the end of the day, though, Hiring Managers and HR professionals need to take a step back and realize that while they hunt for the perfect one that doesn’t exist, the best candidates are going to disappear. Not unlike the Kit Kats from your kid’s Halloween haul.

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