If you ask them casually, most hiring managers and HR professionals will probably tell you they want to fill their organizations with the smartest people they can find. We all know, though, that there are times when the best person isn’t necessarily the brightest. Successful hiring is often not so much about finding the best person as it is about finding the best fit. To draw a parallel, if you’re going hiking, it’s wise to pick a pair of sturdy boots and leave behind the sequined Gucci pumps, even if they do look darling with that new backpack. We need to see beyond the glitter and consider the path ahead.
In the current economy, it’s common to get hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single position. Among them, you’ll almost always find a few members of the tall forehead brigade, brows bulging with education and intellect. Depending on the position for which you’re hiring, they might belong
right at the top of your list, or they may be the first people you should eliminate. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly, however. Few veterans of the hiring process would deny there are usually some candidates who are clearly over-qualified for a position, not just in terms of education and experience, but in terms of sheer intelligence. This affects not only their immediate suitability, but also whether they’re likely to stay in the job without getting bored, and whether they’re likely to disrupt your existing environment while they’re there.
Ideally, hiring is about building a team, not just collecting individuals. You need to think long-term and consider how any new piece will fit into the existing whole. Here are a few points to ponder while you’re mulling over all those resumés and trying to weed out candidates based on one criterion, such as intelligence, alone.
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