Most everybody knows the old saying about making assumptions. Since we don’t want to be vulgar in this blog, we won’t repeat it here. Needless to say, making assumptions rarely works out well for the person or people making the assumption.
Making assumptions in the world of employment is equally fraught with peril. This is especially the case when it comes to hiring. Unfortunately, there are some company officials who make costly assumptions during the hiring process, including during the interview stage of that process. They’re costly because they cost the hiring manager and the organization they represent the opportunity to hire a top candidate.
In this blog post, we’re going to discuss one of the most dangerous (and costly) assumptions that an employer can make in an interview.
And here it is, in a nutshell: assuming that the person you’re interviewing wants to leave their current employer.
It seems like a harmless assumption, doesn’t it? After all, the person is interviewing with your organization. Isn’t it safe to assume that they want to leave their current employer?
No, it’s NOT safe to assume that at all.
This assumption, like all assumptions, does not become truly dangerous until a person acts upon it. In this case, acting upon this assumption involves asking a question that reflects it during the interview. The question is a simple and seemingly innocent one: “Why are you leaving your current employer?”
Unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the candidate is planning to leave their current employer, do not ask this question.
That’s because you could be dealing (and hopefully you are dealing) with a top candidate. That means they’re probably a passive candidate. And THAT means they’re being treated well by their current employer and they’re just “testing the waters” of the marketplace.
Because they’re only “testing the waters,” they have made no decision to leave their current employer. They could be seeing what the market is offering, and if what the market is offering is not better than what they already have, then they’re going to stay right where they are.
Just because a candidate is interviewing with your organization does not mean they are desperate to escape their current situation.
There is a second and equally dangerous part to this assumption. When you make this assumption, you also subconsciously assume that you have leverage in the situation. Leverage in any situation, especially one that involves negotiation, is extremely valuable. You should never assume that you are in possession of it. That’s when mistakes are made.
And assuming that you have leverage when you’re interviewing a top candidate is a dangerous proposition. As a result, mistakes are almost inevitable.
So instead of asking the candidate why they’re leaving their current employer, ask about what would motivate them to make a move. Try to uncover their “hot buttons.” Remember, a top candidate will not make a move unless it’s for a situation that is clearly better than what they already have.
So that means you must discover what is “clearly better” and then use that information to convince the candidate that working for your organization is the best move for their career.
We invite you to connect with our team today and see what The Doepker Group can do for your organization.
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