Great Resume, Bad Fit

I was driving to the airport to pick-up a job candidate. By any measure, Toni was the final puzzle piece to complete our team. She had all the skills, a terrific resume and glowing reference letters. She seemed to be the perfect fit…on paper.

But within moments of meeting her, Toni dissed the ‘bozos’ at her last job, bitched about the bumpy flight and complained about Seattle’s traffic. By the time we got to the office, I was exhausted. I already knew that Toni wasn’t the one and she’d only disrupt our chemistry. If I’d had the nerve, we would’ve grabbed coffee at the airport – then ship her back on the next flight.

Instead, I wasted the day on a candidate I’d never hire.

Here’s my take:  It’s a crap shoot whether someone will fit your culture or have the soft skills to adapt. How could I know Toni had a bad attitude? When it comes to hiring, I’ve learned to consider other opinions, but trust my instincts. Always listen to that nagging voice that tempers the excitement and says, ‘don’t do it’.

Consider the cost of a bad hire.  Beyond losing money and time, you’ve weakened employee morale and taken a hit to your credibility. So, take a tip from Steve Jobs who recruited people who were ‘infected with passion’ for his company.

Meanwhile, HR execs leave the decisions to computers. Your fate is left to bots that scan and digest resumes, then spit out the finalists. No mention of the person’s character, work ethic or likability.

What if people were judged by their job skills and their cultural fit? Aren’t both equally important?

After all, skills can be learned. But a bad attitude is bad to the bone.



Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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