Why You Won’t Find the New Hire You Seek

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/@fariphotography

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/@fariphotography

Reality check, employers: You won’t find a person for your open position who has already done everything listed in the job description. Likely, you won’t even find someone with all the qualifications you seek.

Here’s why:

Switching from the status quo to a new company—with new people, new processes, new policies, new workflows, new perspectives, new dynamics, new office equipment, new routes to and from the office and, once there, to and from the bathroom—makes for a huge life change.

As people don’t like change, you can bet they don’t make that many adjustments all at once in an important life area without serious motivation.

Further, you can bet they don’t make such momentous changes for things they’ve done before or already do. People move jobs to gain skills, expand horizons, assume challenges, access opportunities. To switch, they must believe the benefits of the new position outweigh the stress of changing roles.

So stop seeking unicorns.

Instead, reassess your expectations. What qualifications must the new staff member truly have before she joins the team—and what can she gain relatively quickly after arrival? What characteristics or experiences would you readily relinquish in favor of someone perfect at another aspect of the job?

Further, what soft skills might trump hard skills and experiences? What characteristics of current team stars would you like to find in a new staff member? For me, soft skills have sometimes trumped hard skills. I can teach a motivated person a skill, but I can't easily teach someone the right attitude. I’d rather find a new hire with the right gumption and spirit who is driven to excel than someone for whom the role will seem like a cake walk. In fact, when I’ve found a candidate seemingly perfect for a certain role, I’ve found him too nonchalant in the position—as though he’d planned the job as a career way station, a nice break.

Remember: Hiring means embarking on a relationship. As with relationships in all life facets, you won’t find absolutely everything exactly as you’d wanted or expected. But sometimes, by widening your perspective, you find something better than you could have believed.

Keep your eyes—and your mind—open.

Tell me about your most recent hiring experience.