Who's that Girl?


4 Blind Date Tips That Relate to Recruiting

Originally posted: August 18, 2011 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Blind dates.

We’ve all had them, right?  You know, when you’re in a slump in between relationships and you just can’t seem to meet the “right” person.  Suddenly, your mom, sister, or friend knows of someone who “would be perfect for you”.  You mind begins racing with images of the worst possible people to be paired up with.  Are they smart, funny, or friendly?  Are they desperate?  Are you?  You agree and proceed to spend the 6- 8 most miserable hours of your life staring at someone who picks their teeth or has strong views on everything from politics to breakfast cereal.

Then, there are the blind dates that really work out.  When you have a matchmaker that really knows both people and realizes there are many commonalities.  This matchmaker takes into account that in addition to the commonalities, there are also some interesting differences that may lead to a great relationship.  Maybe they know that you have always wanted to spend more time outdoors hiking, rock climbing, and skiiing.  They match you with someone who already loves those hobbies.  Perfect.  The matchmaker also is willing to tell you why they think you’re a match.  They give details.  They give you the dirt.

Well, hiring should be like that.  I have read enough articles in my day in Cosmo and Men’s Health to know a little bit about what you need to make the best possible relationship match.  Here we go:

  • Tell it like it is–  Now is your chance to set the expectations and say exactly what you are looking for in a person for the role.  Most job descriptions only give you the skills or experience needed in corporate speak.  Get real and get results.  Use job descriptions that say exactly what you want like Daxko does.
  • TRUST the matchmaker–  A referral is only as good as the person making the recommendation.  If the employee making the referral is a poor performer, shady, or all-around sneaky employee, I wouldn’t put credibility in their assessment.  Make sure you’re asking those strong contributors who you should be talking to.
  • Decode the situation–  Here’s where you need to get the dirt.  Ask specific questions to ensure the potential candidate not only has the skills, but the ability to thrive in the environment.  Dig for as much info as you can.
  • Be ready to bail–  Have your exit strategy from the start.  Maybe you get through questioning the referrer and realize that this will not be a match to the position you are filling.  Have a strategy that makes the referrer feel valued but that clearly says this is not the person for the job.  Don’t just talk skills, talk culture.

So, what did I miss?  What blind date takeaways do you have for handling referred candidates?

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