A new employee is a big investment. It’s tempting to envision finding the “perfect” person for a job – someone with all the right attributes and none of the risk related to a potential hiring mistake. You may procrastinate in hopes of this happening – but it won’t. Because there is no perfect hire. We’re talking about human beings here, remember?
Don’t let unhealthy perfectionism leave you paralyzed. You can get so caught up in the process that you overlook the right candidate in your quest. The most effective strategy is to give your leading contenders careful consideration and thorough evaluation and then take decisive action.
The Problems with Perfectionism
A fixation on hiring Mr. or Ms. Perfect encourages you to look for the candidate with only positives and no drawbacks. They simply don’t exist. Every candidate, no matter how many checks they have in the plus column, also brings some negatives. Your job is to determine which ones you can and cannot live with.
- Prioritize the attributes most important to your hiring decision. List your top five “must have” candidate qualities. Then list the traits you’d prefer, but could live without. Score each applicant based on these dimensions.
- Perfectionism can lead to an “if you want it done right, do it yourself” mentality. One way to avoid this is by assembling a hiring team. Include those who would be working with the employee, as well as their supervisor, direct reports and others who can accurately assess them. Guide the decision process and be open to various perspectives.
Take a Look Back
Look back at your previous hiring successes and failures. You can learn from both.
- Unhealthy perfectionism leads you to criticizing yourself for mistakes. This can be inhibiting. But if you understand and learn from those mistakes, you can do things differently the next time around.
- Reflect on those who previously succeeded in the job. Make note of their strengths. These are the traits that you’re not willing to compromise on.
No matter how much knowledge or experience a candidate has, there will be a learning curve. If you’re interested in the long-term return on your hiring investment, choose the individual who offers the most potential versus the one who seems “perfect” right now. Helping an employee grow and develop into a role can be mutually beneficial and result in high productivity, morale, loyalty and retention.
Do you need more help in hiring quality candidates? Let the Contemporary Personnel Staffing and Professionals Incorporated team help as you avoid unhealthy perfectionism and do what it takes to hire right, the first time around. Read our related posts or contact us today.