Why recruiters should stop obsessing about these three things for successful hiring

Intelligent people over compensate for weaknesses, can be overconfident or lack the ability to admit mistakes

The latest advice from Forbes suggests employers should stop considering intelligence, years of experience and likeability when contemplating the recruitment of new employees and that doing so will prevent bad recruitment decisions.

Information suggests that although these traits are important factors, they’re not the most crucial elements to consider during the recruitment process.

Of course, the level of intelligence a person needs depends on the job in question, but it shouldn’t be the main reason for an offer of employment. A person’s IQ doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be right for the job, as explored within the report.

Some highly intelligent people over compensate for weaknesses, can be overconfident or lack the ability to admit mistakes. Additionally, some are not team players, preferring to work alone due to trust issues – perfect if you’re recruiting for a solitary post, but unhelpful in a busy teamwork environment.

These factors alone suggest that in recruitment terms, intelligence should not be the only influence when considering potential employees. Having a good attitude to work and a growth mindset is just as important as a person’s IQ, if employees are to overcome problems, make progress and develop in the workplace.

The amount of experience a potential employee has should also not be a deciding factor, unless absolutely vital, such as when recruiting doctors or dentists, where experience is paramount.

Instead, employers are encouraged to focus on a person’s skill set and qualifications through the use of trial periods. After all, the amount of experience a person has doesn’t necessarily suggest that they’ll be the right person for the job – it just means they’ve worked in that particular industry for a certain amount of time. It doesn’t imply success or indicate an effective employee. A perfect way to showcase skills is through a trial period.

The final factor that the report highlights is that employers should stop focusing their attention on likeability. It suggests that often employers base judgements on people they imagine will be the best fit within their organisation, opting to hire those they deem they will want to have around.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the best person for the organisation or indeed, the person who will have the most impact. It is more important in the recruitment process to hire applicants who can be relied upon and who’ll adopt the organisation’s ethos and values.

Obviously, having people who can get along and work in harmony is important in any business, but it shouldn’t mean that only those deemed ‘best friend’ material should be recruited. One way employers can help alleviate this bias, according to the report, is by holding panel interviews made up of multiple interviewers.

So how can employers overcome these issues? It would be prudent for employers to avoid poor recruitment decisions by determining before they embark upon the interview process what characteristics are deemed highly important in a new employee.

Furthermore, employers are encouraged to consider using recruitment professionals to avoid bias. Such a move suggests employment decisions would be made that do not only focus on the intelligence, experience and likeability of a potential employee, but look beyond these traits to recruit someone more suited to the ideology of an organisation.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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