She Came and Really Wanted the Job!
A mid level government official today called and told us about a new employee he was hiring. He interviewed several candidates, one from his Alma Mater, however, in the end, decided to hire a lady who “Came and Really Wanted the Job!”
The key question we asked was what was so distinctive about this candidate that she was superior to the other candidates. Here is what the government official said:
- She was well dressed, poised and polished
- She brought a portfolio and pen and took good notes
- Her answers were well reasoned and crisp
- She had done her homework and knew about the position
- She was “eager and hungry” to make a valuable contribution to the team
- She had outstanding grades, 3.96 GPA (However, this was not a deciding factor in hiring her)
- Her background was compatible with the mission of the government agency
We continue to talk to clients who are frustrated about the whole employee hiring process. Another candidate that interviewed for this same position came without being formally dressed, oh, he had a sloppy tie on, no coat and his shirt looked like it had never seen the business end of the iron. He did not have a pen or paper, nor did he ask for same while in the interview. We pointed out that he may possess a photographic memory. The government official stated that could be the case, however, note taking is highly encouraged.
The question that often arises in these discussions is what has happened to the current generation? Are they not taught how to interview? Do they not know what we expect? In many cases, the answer is NO, they have not been taught and NO, they don’t know what to do. OK, whose fault is that? Well, we can opine several premises, however, the truth of the matter is that for whatever reason, the expectation bar is not set as high as it should be.
OK, how do we fix this? Our counsel to clients is to have some tolerance in the hiring process, but be VERY CLEAR on what your expectations are in the firm or organization to which this new employee may be joining. We always suggest that everything be put in writing, clear and concise, and ensure that the employee, if hired, has read and signed the expectation list before beginning his/her new position.
In most cases today, this is the first job for many of these folks. Sad, but true. OK, no reason to dwell on that, identify clearly what the expectations are that you expect and hold the employee accountable to those expectations. Most folks will follow/fulfill expectations if they are clearly identified. Today is a different era, no reason to believe differently. If the expectations are clearly identified, there is no question on what is supposed to be done.