Criteria For Hiring – A Rant
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 22, 2011
I’m going to admit something up front; I’m writing angry right now. I’m angry for a business reason, not a personal reason, and I don’t believe my anger is misdirected. However, it’s something to think about overall, which is why I’m writing about it.
For close to two weeks I’ve been working on landing a project out of state. It would have been a big project that could have lasted upwards of six months or so. Overall it’s the kind of project that can make or break a good financial year.
It started out strangely, seemed to end but didn’t, then picked up steam once more. I have the credentials for the job. I have the skills for the job. It was supposedly me against one other person, and the other person’s skills turned out to be lacking; seems she’d never done any of the work they needed to have done.
But I have, multiple times. I’ll tell you that it was a health care project, and I do have the skills for it. Let’s just say that I helped one hospital earn an “extra” $736 million in one year, and I actually created the product that was needed in my field for a 5-hospital system in another country some years ago. I’ve been doing this particular type of work for almost 25 years; I’m easily qualified.
On Wednesday I spoke to someone about the gig and it went really well. You know, whenever you speak to candidates about something you just get a feeling on how it goes. I knew my stuff; heck, she knew my stuff. We discussed tactics and the like and what the overall scope of the project was. She said it was a lot and she couldn’t handle it; I said I could.
Once that happens you have to wait. And I did, all through yesterday and into this morning. I knew that if the call came through I was going to have to scramble to get everything collected because it was going to be kind of far away. But I was mentally prepared for anything.
Except not getting it. Just a little while ago I heard that I didn’t get it, and for what I’d have to say is a very stupid reason. My qualifications aren’t in question as to whether I can do the job. What’s in question is whether my skills can translate to a larger organization like theirs.
And you know what the kicker is? The person that made the ultimate decision has no clue what I do. He works in a department that has nothing to do with what I do, but since they’re missing the person in the position that would normally make this decision he made it. Pure idiocy, and I’m angry.
I get it; people make decisions every day on stuff they don’t know anything about, or may not know much about. The reasons we do this is because we need stuff but can’t know about everything. I know nothing about plumbing, roofing, electricity, etc. So I have to hire someone I don’t know, whether I get a recommendation or not.
At the same time, I understand that there are sometimes other, outside factors that might lead us to not want to hire someone or to work with someone. If they’re unkempt and work a job that doesn’t keep them that way we might be hesitant. If they smell or seem creepy, and y’all know that happens, I got it. If you get a bad vibe and the Spidey senses are telling you to beware, that makes sense as well.
But if you don’t have those issues, and all things are equal, at least make sure your criteria is sound. I’ve given leadership presentations to as few as 10 people and as many as 250 at a time. Does that mean I’m not qualified, if I got lucky enough, to speak in front of 500 to 1,000 people at a time? If the message is the same and the information is the same do the numbers really mean all that much?
So let me ask you this. If you needed services and a person’s qualifications were sound and you checked references or previous work and it all came back stellar, but you didn’t really fully understand what these people were going to do for you (kind of reminiscent of our SEO discussion some months ago) would you just make up criteria based on a flawed perception or would you take into account what someone with the skills and knowledge (like the woman I talked to) had to say about it?
Yeah, I’m at the end and I’m still mad, but less so now. lol