“By themselves character and integrity do not accomplish anything. But their absence faults everything else. Here is an area where weakness is an absolute disqualification.” – Peter Drucker
To some extent hiring is always a gamble, but all too many hiring decisions are based on subjective information – the candidate is a friend of a friend, they are nice looking, they seemed (for the hour that you interviewed them) to be a “nice” person, they are funny or easy to get along with, they are so smart, etc.
Keep in mind, whenever there are high points, rest assured there will be low points. It’s just the way it is. To look at one and not the other is irresponsible. When I help people understand a candidate’s Winslow feedback (as it relates to the job), I start with what I notice to be the candidate’s assets to the company and position. After reviewing those points, we discuss any too low/too high scoring areas, paying particular attention to how traits affect each other, positively or negatively.
Strengths are important assets, but to not notice and consider liabilities shows a lack of foresight.
Hiring is a process – pre-screen / assessment / interview / reference check / background check. What we want to identify in all of this is: what the person will actually do once hired.
And please remember, if at any time during your hiring process a red flag appears – especially around character and integrity – run, don’t walk, away from the candidate!
Years ago, a client hired a candidate who scored well on the Winslow, but had done some unethical things during his transition from one company to my client’s company. I had no knowledge of this and was surprised when this seemingly perfect fit started having issues. Then to my surprise, I found out my client knew about this person’s unethical behavior, prior to hiring him, but neglected to address it. Now it was affecting not only this person’s performance, but the integrity of the company. Had I had even an inkling of this character flaw, I would have told my client, “Don’t even assess this person; simply keep looking.”
Yes, hiring is challenging, but there are so many things you can do to increase the likelihood of identifying the candidates who will successfully fit into your organization – this is the goal!