training 101

training 101
Hiring smart


Ever noticed the similarities between the traditional hiring practices and the TV show “Survivor?” No one actually picks a winner. Each week candidates compete in some unrelated test to protect themselves from being kicked off the island. So, what are the criteria for being selected a winner on this show? It appears that the only skill set required is to be able to avoid being kicked off the island.

What does this have to do with the hiring process?

Thanks to our friends at Dalhousie University in Halifax, it became quite clear. Each year they publish a reference guide for students to help them with their job search. A recent edition of the “Quick Job Search Tips” sheet opens with a quote from Richard Bolles, the author of “What Color is Your Parachute?”.

“Who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do the best job, but the one who knows the most about how to get hired.”

Wow, they already know that it’s a game to be played and they are coming well prepared. Your role as a recruiter is to select for your company the best possible candidate who fits your needs, not the person who is best at getting through the hiring process. Wonder why you hire someone and six months later you find out that they do not meet your expectations? Here’s your answer!

It is time to change the game.

Watching “Survivor” the other week, standing on the outside looking in, you could see what games were being played and how individuals were building their own strategies to protect themselves from being eliminated. When you are “in” the game, it is not so clear, and you watch the participants play into the strategies being deployed.

To understand what games are being played in the traditional hiring process, you need only to go to your local bookstore and pick up one of my two favourite books: “Job Interviews for Dummies” (I prefer the 2nd edition) by Joyce Lain Kennedy, and “The Pocket Guide to Interview Questions and Answers” by Sharon McDonnell.

The Pocket Idiot’s guide is the easiest to read. It gives you the questions that you ask in the interview, tells the candidate why you are asking it and gives them a good answer sample and a bad answer sample. If you do not already have this book – run to the store before you fall for another one of those “great answers.”

Another recommendation is to sign up for a course at your local community college on how to get hired. You will learn exactly what the candidates are being taught so you will not kick them out of the hiring process.

If you are not already utilizing the full benefit of each step of the HiringSmart process, take a few minutes and review it online at or We want the best possible person for the job who is the best possible fit for our business, not the one who is best at getting hired.

Content may be King, but process is God!

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