7 No-win Vacancies (Part 2)
In the second part of the article we continue discussing types of employees that are hard to cooperate with and ways to find a perfect candidate to fill in the position for them.
5. “I (don’t) feel like hiring this candidate”
One more difficult type of employers is a too “intuitive” or a too “smart” type. Such an employer is able to understand that the candidate doesn’t suit during the first two minutes of the interview. “This is not the right person”, “Just look at him/her, the way he/she talks - this is not the person we look for!” are the usual explanations. All requirements and job descriptions are secondary compared to the employer’s intuition and vanity. The manager can finish the candidate’s phrases or interrupt him or her with personal conclusions, not letting him or her finish a statement. All manager’s questions will serve to prove his or her competence and authority, not to learn the candidate’s opinion.
If you select candidates for such an employer, be sure to attend interviews with him or her. Find a pretext to be with the candidate and turn the flow of the interview in the necessary direction. For example, you can tell the employer that you want to learn something new from him or her so you decided to attend the interview. After the interview, don’t let the employer make his or her own conclusion. Give your expert opinion and some time to think it over. After a couple of interviews, you will notice that your opinion becomes more and more important for the employer.
6. “I need a candidate of a certain gender”
Of course, selecting candidates by gender is unprofessional and incorrect. However, there are certain fields where more men or more women work statistically due to the intensity, work conditions, history of the profession, etc. Almost all requests state the desired gender of the candidate, for example, “preferably male” or “preferably female”. From time to time I receive requests with “only male” or “only female” and very often have to prove the contrary or accept the criteria. First of all, you need to find out the reason for such a demand. For example, if it is an IT department consisting of young men only, probably, it will be hard for a woman to adapt to it. But it’s only probably. So be sure to offer suitable candidates of both genders for comparison.
On the contrary, if the employer has such a demand because “a man will work harder as he needs to support his family and he won’t ask for a maternity leave”, you have to call to all your expertise and professionalism and show the real picture to him or her. Analyze the statistics of dismissals by gender, find out if there is a real reason for such claims. This way you won’t be building arguments on the social ground. Facts and statistics only.
7. “I want an easily manageable candidate”
There are managers who are eager to minimize their managerial efforts. They have their old and proven ways of work. They just need the job done. No rush, no striving for sky-high achievements. The brightest “stars” in the hierarchy are they. So their basic criteria in hiring are that the candidate can quietly do routine work and doesn’t cause troubles. Of course, the employer’s request will not state it openly, but it will become clear to you when he or she rejects all 15 suitable candidates for various reasons and one of the weakest candidates gets the job after a 5-minute interview. No matter how hard you try, you will never fill in such a position with the candidate that the company really needs. Instead, try to find a good executive suitable for the boss and the staff.
To sum it all up, there are two universal solutions in such situations. The first solution suits only for headhunters working in the company. If you see that your reasoning has no effect and the situation cannot be changed, imitate frantic activity. Fool the employer as long as he or she fools you with crazy demands, however unprofessional it sounds. You will see that the problem will resolve itself without your participation. Either the need will cease or the employer will reconsider the demands and ask for your advice.
The second solution is to lead the selection process. Start with an interview and clear list of job requirements. If the process brings no result, become a coach. Provide the employer with arguments for changing the focus of the search. If the employer demands the impossible, go to the limit: suggest to conduct his or her own search or ask for his or her expert advice. Flood him or her with resumes. Appoint 15 job interviews a day. Let him or her the real meaning of his or her demands and come to you with his or her own ways to solve this task.
The main thing that you must remember, you are not the executive. You are the owner of the selection process and only you know what the business - not the manager - really needs. Only you know the market. Only you can assess candidates professionally and help to choose the best of the best. Be sure in yourself and you will be ready for any situation and be able to find compromises with the employer.