Sometimes You Just Love Someone At First Sight

We aren’t supposed to be those people in HR.  We aren’t supposed to fall in love with a candidate the moment we see them. We tell ourselves we’re better than the rest, than our hiring managers.

The problem is, we do. We do fall in love. In fact, it happens all the time.

For the most part when you go to hire and you start interviewing, you either fall in love with a candidate or you don’t. There really isn’t any in between.  If you don’t fall in love, you never really feel comfortable making an offer, and if you do, you feel it’s probably going to eventually fail.

I’m not saying that those you fall in love with succeed all the time, because they don’t.  Without the love feeling, though, you never feel confident in the hire.

Here’s where I really start to think we might just be over-thinking this entire hiring thing.

If I fall in love with a candidate in the first 2 minutes, why do I need to go on with the interview process?  Do you ever fall out of love with a candidate, you fell in love with at first sight? I haven’t.  If I loved them in two minutes, I loved them after 2 hours of interviewing.  Sometimes you just know.

This doesn’t work for every position. Falling in love works best when you’re really hiring for organizational fit.  When you have a position that you could teach to almost anyone willing to learn, good work ethic, etc. If the primary goal to achieving a great hire is organizational fit, falling in love at first site usually works pretty good on the selection scale.

None of us in Talent Acquisition and HR ever want this to get out. It goes against our secret handshake to make hiring really difficult in our organizations. But, when you really go back and analyze your best hires, almost all of them will have the ‘love’ factor!

I believe in two things when it comes to hiring:

1. Do I really love this person as a hire?  If I can’t immediately answer that question, I need to keep looking.

2. Does this person scare the shit out of me?  Meaning, is this person so talented that eventually they’ll take my job! I hope so. I want to be scared, it makes me work harder. I want people who are better than me. Most people do the opposite. If the candidate is better than you, they pass, because they lack the confidence on how to handle that situation.

If I can answer ‘Yes’ to both of the above questions, I’m going to make some really strong hires.


5 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Love Someone At First Sight

  1. Here’s what I know for certain–talking a manager into hiring someone they don’t love is a short-term win at best. If they don’t love their new hire, they’re less invested in their success. It’s imperfect, but it’s true.

  2. Tim, until we recognize our own biases we will be doomed to hire the wrong people 80% of the time because “we just know.”

    “Sometimes you just know” is inaccurate. It should read “Sometimes we just feel it.”

    “Sometimes you just know” is a feeling not knowledge about someone’s job suitability.

    What happens in our mind is more related to our own experiences and feelings rather than the applicant’s suitability for the job.

    “If the primary goal to achieving a great hire is organizational fit, falling in love at first site usually works pretty good on the selection scale.”

    Maybe Yes, maybe No, but not in predicting job success.

    If we ignore job talent, then we will achieve an 80% failure rate in hiring successful employees. Don’t worry, most all new hires will be competent and fit the culture but not successful.

    Now we know why 80% of employees self report they are not engaged; they are in the wrong jobs or there managers are in the wrong jobs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.