Data can be used to tell more than one story. It can also become a stumbling block, especially if you focus on the wrong data components too heavily.
Focus on the Person During the Job Hiring Process
While writing this article I couldn’t help but think of an Andy Griffith episode where the attorney general’s office sends a lawyer to Mayberry to work with Sheriff Andy Griffith and his deputy, Barney Fife. The attorney general’s office thought working with a law enforcement office would be good experience for the lawyer, help him to understand the workings of the criminal justice system from the ground up.
Andy took to the lawyer right away. He was sharp, professional and organized. He also knew a lot of data and facts. Before long Barney started to feel threatened, as if his job was on the line. It wasn’t long before Barney Fife quit and Andy’s exuberance with the lawyer’s intellect and data mining turned sour.
Near the end of the episode when Barney returned to fight for his job he told the lawyer that he knew a lot about facts and data but not enough about people. Unfortunately, hiring managers and human resource specialists can fall into this same trap and start focusing more on the data filling a resume or job application than they do on the person sitting across from them during a job interview.
Measuring Commitment, Confidence and Passion
Dates, facts and numbers can be verified using local and national databases. However, data cannot measure a prospective employee’s commitment to any project they take on. Data also cannot measure confidence, communication abilities or a person’s passion for getting along with and supporting others. Other traits recruiters and hiring managers can look for during the job hiring process include:
- Active listening skills
- Knowledge about the hiring company
- Industry and market knowledge
- Career objectives and aspirations
- Sense of humor
- Personality/social skills
Additionally, instead of relying solely on data and depending on the type of job employers are seeking to fill recruiters and hiring managers may be able to give hiring candidates tests. For example, managers seeking to hire secretaries or data entry clerks can give them typing tests. Other ways to measure worker experience include asking prospective employees to send recruiters links to their online portfolios. For instance, a web designer could send recruiters a link to his online portfolio that includes examples of three or more websites he has designed.
Most importantly, human resource recruiters and hiring managers should take the time to meet with prospective employees during interviews. This will allow human resource recruiters and hiring managers to observe workers’ body language. If they interview prospective employees in person, at the end of interviews, they can also ask their colleagues what their brief impressions of the person were. In person interviews also allow job seekers to see where they might be working, get a vibe on current employees and better determine whether they feel they are a fit for the company and its culture.
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