In reading an article that Anthony Iannarino published on LinkedIn, entitled “Hiring People Based on Their Deficiencies,” I particularly liked this paragraph:
“You are not going to hire perfect people. You are going to hire people who need to develop in some areas. You are hiring human beings, and we all have deficiencies. One of the decisions you are making when you hire is the decision as to whether you can help them improve in some area or mitigate the damage the deficiency causes.”
During the hiring process, when we are presented with an applicant’s strengths and weaknesses, we are doing a bit of a juggling act in our mind. Actually, it’s a two-part juggling act.
The first is simply weighing the apparent points of strength and weakness of the candidate.
The second considers the weaknesses or deficiencies head on. Can these be improved upon? To what degree? And, if you don’t think they can, can any potential damage be kept in an inconsequential range?
If you feel you have someone who could be of value but you just can’t get past the juggling act, then a conditional, or probational hire is worth considering. The time period on these vary, anywhere from a few days to several months.
Even with a probational hire, there’s no guarantee your applicant’s deficiencies will fully manifest, but it will give you considerably more insight than a few hiring interviews.
There is of course the positive side of the ledger here. Will the exposure to you and your staff help the applicant build on his strengths and minimize his weaknesses? If so, my hat’s off to you — you’ve created a great team and a great work environment.
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