Mr Bean

Posted on July 19, 2018 by jameslai | Recruitment

Every Hiring Managers Nightmare Scenario - Interviewing James Bond and Hiring Mr Bean

Anyone who has ever recruited must have experienced that nightmare like epiphany. That sudden crisp realisation when you observe the recently acquired new team member without your rose-tinted glasses. Watching from a safe distance you observe the newly inducted employee frolicking around the coffee machine; you’re suddenly overcome by that soul sapping feeling of despondency. That cool, confident and overall impressive character you and your colleagues interviewed 6 weeks ago has morphed into something entirely alien.

Your mind scrambles for safety amongst the nuances of probationary periods and one weeks’ notice as the only source of damage limitation. After all it really isn’t your fault, well not entirely. The blame can be shared amongst the entire hiring team, can’t it? Everyone had the opportunity to ask if the successful candidate who seduced everyone with their engaging smile and warm personality was a caged beast when under pressure. They all had the opportunity to assess whether the candidate tended to behave like a 5yr old in a sweet shop when unsupervised. So why didn’t they?

How did that James Bond who turned up at the interviews end up more like Mr Bean a mere 3 weeks into the job? Okay that is probably an extreme example, but we have all witnessed that square peg in the round hole scenario. To aid us in our understanding of this situation, let us look at the common definition:

“Someone who is uncomfortable or who does not belong in a particular situation. (Also, the cliché: trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, trying to combine two things that do not belong or fit together.)”

 I’m not going to wax lyrical about statistics and how often this happens because they vary so dramatically depending upon the source. Although I think that many of the perceptions in terms of what constitutes a successful recruit is skewed. Essentially in my mind a new employee is a success at the 12-month point or thereafter and not before. Any failure prior to the 12-month point must have a detrimental impact both commercially and financially on a business, impact that will have repercussions for a long time after they have gone.

The aim of this post is to highlight the fact that generally as a rule we hire based upon skills and experience and fire because of behaviour and attitude. Something about this approach must be fundamentally wrong, surely!

Hiring Managers who have experienced this scenario, and let’s be honest, every one of us has at some point, generally try to never repeat the mistake. But how do you ensure this? Here comes the answer, the sales pitch if you will. Keep reading, it might help prevent you hiring Mr Bean by mistake, again and again and again…

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