Recruitment – Chemistry or Alchemy?

Recruitment – Chemistry or Alchemy?

As an in-house recruiter, you want the successful candidate to be a good match to the role profile and up to the job-challenges but, more than that, the hiring line manager will want them to be a good fit. Surveys have regularly indicated that previous hires proved to be sub-optimal in 60% or more of cases and that same basic problem has been endemic for decades.
Managers find it easy to gauge existing employees for fit, but it’s seen as challenging to assess interviewees. They often talk about ‘our unique culture’ and ‘getting the chemistry right’ but, without an objective assessment framework for that, decisions will be subjective and based on alchemy, not chemistry. In fact, culture is measurable and fit is definable.

The curse of personality

To gauge fit for a role, personality is commonly seized upon. The opinions and desires of hiring managers usually take preference, but is that correct? What about the opinions of the team, other departments, senior management, departmental customers and wider stakeholders? They may all have conflicting requirements.

If you’re recruiting for a funeral director, it might seem obvious that the last person on earth you want is that openly jolly, thigh-slapping candidate who is listing ‘stand-up comedian’ as their primary hobby. They’re obviously going to be a lousy fit, right?

However, such simplistic thinking can easily exclude otherwise stellar candidates with potential to add significant value. If the funeral director in question can successfully maintain a professional demeanour with clients, at other times their ability to raise the spirits of near-dead colleagues might be a real boon to team building, productivity and reducing labour turnover.

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