Why is Hiring So Hard?

I have an employee who is leaving my company, Thread Logic.  She is not leaving us for another job or company; she is leaving us to be a stay at home mom.  While I am sad to her go, I am happy for her.

But now comes the hard part.  Hiring is always a challenge for me.  No matter how many questions you ask.  No matter how many interviews you conduct.  The probably of ending up with the best person who is the right fit for the job and the company still seems low.  For me, the outcome sometimes feels like it is more about luck than about how good I am at judging talent and candidates.

Yes, I have defined the qualities, characteristics and skills I am looking for in the ideal candidate.  That’s the pretty easy.  The hard part is in matching those with a real person.  How many times have you found a perfect match?

It is pretty easy for a candidate to say they are a “self starting, multi-tasker, who is detail oriented, with outstanding written, oral and interpersonal skills.” (Just writing that makes my head hurt)  But saying one has these skills is one thing.  Actually being able to execute them is a completely different story.

The problem with many candidates is they believe they have those skills when in reality they maybe don’t have them.  The hard part is you really don’t find that out until they have been in the job for a time and it is too late to do anything about it.

Before I owned Thread Logic, I was interviewing for a position that required a multitasking skill set.  The person we hired spent a lot of time in the interview taking about how she was a really good multitasker.  But after being in the job about 6 months we came to the realization that her definition of multitasking and our definition of multitasking were very different.

The other frustrating aspect is the compromises that you sometimes have to make in selecting a candidate.  Rare is the candidate that has all the skills you seek.  Someone might ssem really good at one thing but not so good at something else.  That feels like it is almost always true.  Thus it is not an apples to apples comparison.

And finally, because we are a small company, you have to consider the personality fit with the other employees.  This is hard because you don’t really see the whole personality during the interview process.  Sometimes it takes weeks or months to reveal itself.  And at that point, it may be too late to really do anything about it.

So, why it is if you find the candidate that has all the skills, has a personality that fits in with the other employees, wants to work for what you are willing to pay and is capable of doing the job at a high level , you feel like you have won the lottery?  The answer, I think is luck.

By the time most of you have read this post, I will be very close to or will have already made a decision.  Otherwise I would ask for you help and advice.  But if you have some good advice I can use for the next time, please share it.

Wish me luck!

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4 Responses to Why is Hiring So Hard?

  1. Laurie says:

    I feel the same way! We are in the process of hiring again in our business and I have the same fears. It is easy to say all the right things during the interview, but it take weeks or months to see whether someone is a great fit for your company. We now know to triple check references and use a 60-day trial period for both parties. If you hear of some better solutions or strategies let me know!

    • threadlogic says:

      Laurie, nice to hear you are hiring. I hope that means expansion for you and things are going well. You have to do your due diligence. But, no matter how much we do, I think sometimes you just have to trust your gut instincts.

  2. Debbie says:

    you have my deepest sympathies! The hiring process is incredibly painful and there are never guarantees.

    The only time I was 100% positive I was making the correct hiring decision turned out to be my absoulte worst choice. The interview was flawless, the employee was terrible.

    Nearly everyone else I have hired over the years turned out much better that that candidate, but the lesson I learned took away from that experience was to dig for the truth when someone comes across a little too perfect in an interview.

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