Would you move in with someone after 3 one hour dates?

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The reason why so many hires turn out wrong (and what you can do about it).

Most of us will share two similar experiences, going on a date and going on an interview. In each case we are trying to learn about each other and see if there is a fit. This is where the similarity ends.

Imagine you are on a date and the person you are meeting pulls out a clipboard and starts asking a list of questions? It is already starting to sound like an odd date, right? Imagine they then start asking about your finances, and who they can talk to to get a reference so that they can make sure you aren’t lying to them. Finally they are gracious enough to ask if you have any questions for them. At the end of the date the person turns to you and says “thanks, I’ll be in touch if I want to see you again”.

This scenario sounds a lot like an interview and nothing like the first date I shared with my wife and partner of 10 years! I spend as much time wife my wife as I do with my work colleagues and yet it took way more than 3 meetings for my wife and I to move in together. When you compare the two scenarios, it is hardly surprising that so many hires fail.

The best way to hire people into your business.

If you really want to hire the right people think of your talent acquisition strategy like dating. You could look at a dating site (Linked In) or put an ad in the lonely hearts section (Seek or print advertising). You could ask your friends or work colleagues to make introductions. Alternatively you could approach someone you already know, who you think has similar interests and values.

If you are trying to build a relationship from scratch then find ways to make your first introduction to a candidate a more relaxing affair. Catching up over a coffee to share information is a great way to break the ice. Exploratory discussions can set the platform for building a longer term relationship. It may be that the timing isn’t quite right but if you keep in contact, you have far more reference points to the candidates behaviour’s. This approach gives you a far more accurate insight into who the candidate really is vs the guarded and well constructed answers candidates throw back to the all to familiar interview format.

One of the advantages of using a highly reputable recruiter is the information they have stored on candidates over the years. If a recruiter has a long history in a specific market, they will have compiled a mental dossier on potential candidates based over a number of interactions. This input can be invaluable in assessing if candidates are the right fit for your organisation. It is a wise strategy to build relationships with the most reputable recruiters in your market, they can share priceless information that you often can’t access through your own sources.

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Q Consulting Group (Q) is a boutique executive search and recruitment firm that helps small-medium enterprises identify and acquire the top 1% of talent.

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