Don't Hire for Exact Fit

When was the last time you jumped to a conclusion about someone, either based on first impressions or based on their resume? Did you give them a chance to prove you wrong? 

I've written before about why our mind takes these shortcuts and some tips to break through them, but chances are, most people are not only unaware of doing this but don't really care. It's so much easier to think you're always right and move on.

But depending on your role, this can be short-sighted and have consequences. For example, if you're a recruiter or hiring manager and you're jumping to conclusions, perhaps you've lost someone who could have made all the difference to your team.

I've done plenty of my own recruiting, both as the HR person and as the hiring manager so I understand needing certain basics and taking shortcuts when you're inundated. But there's a difference between the experience and skills needed to get the job done and the rest.

So if you're looking for a leader who has the experience to do the job but perhaps is not an exact fit, what will you do? Will you just throw that resume aside or will you dig deeper and perhaps have a conversation with that person? If they've demonstrated true leadership and are now looking to break out of their niche, will you give them a chance or choose the standard fit?

Ultimately what should matter most, especially for higher-level positions which are more about hard-to-define and hard-to-prove skills is who the person is. How do they think? What do they believe in? What do they aspire to? What have others they worked with/for thought about them? These are far more important for the success of your team then whether they've done this exact job elsewhere.

Besides, if you give them a chance and they have something to learn and contribute, they'll be more engaged than the person who's done the similar job elsewhere.

Have you given someone a chance to prove your first impression wrong?

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