We all want to avoid hiring jerks. Is there a magic question?
Lou Adler says in Inc that he has candidates write out their org chart of who they managed and describe in detail how they managed and developed each one. He says if you do this you can avoid hiring the jerks. It does help filter.
It, however, raises two questions in my mind.
First Thought to Avoid Hiring Jerks
In China, I would gather that there are a lot a suprises and politics wherever such placements are made. Why do I say this?
After we do this kind of interview and filter strongly, we background check the rest to see if their words are true. We find that 72% were only very good story tellers. The other 28% move forward.
What does that mean? At minimum, it pays to look under the hood if your goal is to not hire a jerk. In China, the good question method Lou suggests will help you identify people who are or are not smooth talkers. You will often hire the best politician this way.
We had a brilliant interview with a country leader candidate. The customer was very impressed by the candidate’s detail in explaining how he developed his team. We then asked if we could background check that, and the candidate exploded saying we did not trust him. All the liars say that. We knew confirmation is necessary to trust as lots of candidates can tell a great story. He forbid us to ever touch anyone at that company.
The client heard this and knew enough to stay away. Secrets that no one can ever touch must be big.
Most candidates readily allow us to background check. However, we surprise them by what we can find out. We then ask them to come clean on some stories. Most will never come clean even though we already know all. They are committed to cover up even when the game is up. What will they cover up when they work for you? See this infographic at our Recruitment Agency China
Second Thought to Avoid Hiring Jerks
Wouldn’t it be great if one question could ace the hiring problem? We all dream of that. I know many people espouse one great question. We have one we really like. “Tell me more…” We would never say that even a set of questions will guarantee you avoid hiring the jerks.
If we could, in good conscience, throw out our two hour interviews and week long background checks, we would. We know that candidates are more complicated than the simple interview can cover. They are really better at interviewing and will prepare for the one great question anyway. So, we are attracted to the one question, but sadly it does not exist. See Great Interviewing Does Not Equal Great Hiring.
We hate to be the bearers of such bad news. Further, we note that chasing details is often hard work and no recruiters we know will go that far. Recruiting done right is hard work. From our searching to screening to recruiting, to interviewing, and then background checking, it bears good fruit. We take that hard work off our customer’s table once they know there is no magic question.