Why Hiring the Perfect Candidate Could be Bad for Business

By Chapple

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Why Hiring the Perfect Employee Could be Bad for Business

Hiring new staff is one of the most important decisions an employer can make. It's an investment in the business’s future and transcends the financial into the realms of strategy and beyond.

Over the last 20 years our recruiters have seen the labour market evolve dramatically. From hiring practices to the effects of governments and the recent recession, we've witnessed and adapted to it all.

One constant amongst all this change has been an enduring desire from employers ….. the desire to hire the perfect employee!

At first glance the notion of hiring the perfect employee seems not only sensible but essential. Why wouldn't you want to hire the best person for the job?

Well, in the next few minutes I'm going to explain why, how you can avoid it and what the alternative is.

 

The perfect employee will leave as soon as they get the chance

The perfect person has nowhere to go but up. Sure they'll hit the ground running and do the job that you need now, but as soon as a better offer comes along they'll jump ship.

Our recruiters see a plethora of candidates that stay with an employer for little more than a year and then feel it's time to move on. Without an offer of a pay rise or promotion it’s their only option.

In this day and age employers need to earn loyalty and a great way to earn that loyalty (without continually increasing their pay) is to employ a candidate that isn't quite there yet, one that has the potential to be a rising star but is still in need of training and support. Invest in their future and you might just be able to foster loyalty to your company giving you an asset that can grow as you grow.
 

Beware the perfect CV (and vice versa)

As recruiters we've seen thousands of CVs and one thing we're sure of, they never tell the whole story.

CVs are the highlights; the bits that an employee wants you to know. Hiring an employee that is good at writing CVs doesn't mean they will be good at the job. They may look perfect on paper but the reality can be very different.

The opposite can also be true. Often candidates that have the potential to be the most beneficial can also be those with the worst CVs. We can help you to look behind the CV and find an employee that has lots to give but also plenty to learn. That is an employee worth hiring and one that is worth fighting for.

 

Sculpt the ‘perfect’ job description at your peril

As employers strive to get the perfect candidate the temptation is to write an all-encompassing job description detailing an extensive tick list of essential attributes and skills. This invariably lengthens the hiring cycle as it not only makes it difficult to find the 'ideal' candidate but it also puts off would be employees that feel they don't fit the bill.

In our experience it's best to focus on the three most important qualities for the role as well as their pertinent experience.

Skills and knowledge can be taught, beyond that it’s the qualities that really make an employee fit your culture. The intangibles that truly make your team gel can't be taught. Hire for culture and personality over skills to ensure that you get the candidate that will fit in with your team.
 

Avoid hiring clones of past employees

As an employee leaves the natural reaction is to try and replace them with a carbon copy to fulfil their functions without the need for any additional input or effort.

Before you replace past employees, ask yourself these two questions: Has your company changed since you hired the leaving employee? Do you want an employee that will leave you just like your last?

The employee you needed 2 years ago may no longer be the employee that you need now. Write the job description to meet your current and future needs. An employee that can grow with your company will be one that will stay with you longer than the average of 18 months, helping your business to rise to new heights along the way.

By hiring for the future and investing in the development of new staff you will be able to mould a loyal employee who is grateful for your investment and keen to help your business grow. Yes, it will take a little more time to bring them up to speed but the rewards will speak for themselves and make it all worthwhile.  

Admittedly there are exceptions such as the temporary requirement for a contractor to fill a gap in resource. Budget and time requirements will no doubt lead you down the road of the 100 percent employee. However, if you can make a long term commitment to hiring those with potential rather than the perfect employee, you’ll eliminate the need for short term hires and contractors for good.   


At Chapple we specialise in sourcing candidates in external and internal communications, employee engagement, change and business transformation roles.

Contact us on 020 7734 8209 for more information about how we can help you find the right people for your business.

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