The 2008 U.S. presidential elections remind me of the Google selection process: long, arduous, detailed, curious criteria, etc.. The difference is the Obama and McCain know their interview concludes November 6th. Until then, you can tune it out or up your vitamin regimen to keep up with all the twists and turns.
The presidential candidates have also been recently running their own interview too, albeit on a comparatively shorter timeline. Obama and McCain’s first major decision isn’t on policy, but who will be their vice president. The pick of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin add new dimensions to the Obama and McCain teams. Why they were selected will be debated. The proof of a good or bad selection will be known soon enough.
In a similar way, your hiring manager or client will make their biggest decisions in the hiring of a candidate to be their “running mate”. True the position may not have “vice president” in the title, but if you’re on point for the hire, your success is also tied your client’s.
Here are some things to have in sync with your hiring manager:
• Agree on process – You will have enough variables with all of the candidates that need to be vetted. Don’t add needlessly add to the mix. Draw up a selection process, a sourcing game plan and a timeline first.
• Hire for compatibility in values – How things actually get done is a quick definition of culture. The candidate and the hiring manager need to have this in common or be willing to bridge the differences. All the talent and experience come to a grinding, debilitating halt otherwise.
• Pick your advisors carefully – These are who you are letting influence your selection. It should cover areas (be it skill, culture, or experience) that you don’t have or aren’t as strong as the organization needs.
• Ignore the pundits – They’d love to be the advisor group, but they don’t have a stake in your success.
• Shorten the shopping list or litmus test – It means you’re giving in to the pundits or you’re not really certain what you need. Either scenario unduly limits candidate options. As the client, you should know what needs to be done in the role for which you’re hiring. As the recruiter, you should know the possible combinations of talent and where to find them.
Here are additional thoughts on the picking of a running mate from non-recruiters:
No matter what your political views are or who you are going to vote for in November, we can all elect to improve the selection process. It says a lot about your client. It says a lot about you.
William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He’s written over 200 HR articles, spoken at over 150 HR & recruiting conferences and he’s conducted over 1000 HR podcasts. William prides himself on being easy to find on The Internet, Google him and connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Not up to speed in the social media game? Reach out via email.
William serves on the Board of Advisors for Talentegy, Wellocity, GlitchPath, Talent Ninja, Universum Americas, Engagedly, Echovate, VibeCatch, Continu, Hyphen, Bevy, Happie, RolePoint, Causecast, Work4Labs, Talent Tech Labs, and SmartRecruiters. He was previously an advisor to PeopleMatter (sold to Snagajob Q2 2016), Good.Co (sold to StepStone Q1 2016), Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight Q4 2014) and a board member of Chequed (merged to create OutMatch Q3 2015).
William is a graduate of the University of Alabama of Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.