Most managers realize that their success is built on the success of their employees. But success begins with recruiting the right employees in the first place - productive people that can be matched with key positions and molded into winning teams.
Sounds simple, but, in fact, managers are not necessarily trained to be skilled interviewers and hirers.
Baggage from the past
Many of us have preconceived notions about people and situations - baggage that we carry from previous experiences. Too often, we allow those past experiences and feelings to influence us when we conduct interviews.
For example, my colleagues and I recently helped a client search for a vice president and legal counsel to work in a fast-paced, extremely entrepreneurial organization. The position required a dynamic, growth-oriented, expansive, and demanding person. The individual needed to be highly energetic and effective in a wide range of activities in a small legal department.
After a review of a substantial number of resumes, one of the candidates that emerged was a 59-year-old man, who was number two in the legal department of a large U.S. company. He had previously worked for the federal government, and he had a master's degree in tax law.
As we were planning the interview phase, I asked our client, "What's your first impression of this candidate, based on what you think you know?"
"Well," he said, "I'm not very excited about the guy. First, he's 59, so he probably doesn't have the energy for our fast-paced environment. We need someone that can juggle three balls with one hand and write a …