Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Listening to Others on the Job

I did something unusual for me, but I think it is something I'm growing into.  I was prepared to make an offer to a job candidate.  This job candidate had come in and done fine on all the questions I had asked and I believed the candidate was qualified to do the job.  However, other interviewers in the interview in the loop had mixed reviews.  Some were rather lukewarm on the candidate.  Some of this is no doubt due to the fact that some people on the interview loop can be quite hard to get a passing mark. However, I am one of those people who believe you have to make your own judgments about these things because you are, in the end, the person ultimately responsible.

After a lot of thinking, and  despite my own judgment, I passed on the candidate.   In the end, it came down to this.  It is a very important position and I need someone who is going to be a superstar in it.  Even if I think this person has the potential, I need other people to see it as well.  If a person doesn't shine with half the people they talk to, can they really be considered a superstar?  It is much harder to get rid of someone than it is to never hire the person in the first place, and making the wrong hire can damage an entire team.  So I erred on the side of caution despite the urgent need for the position to be filled.

So when is it a good idea to go against your own judgment and rely on the advice of others?  How can you ever know that this is what you should do?


  1. A large part of work involves communicating with others, so if some of your key colleagues are not keen on this candidate, better to not hire him.

  2. I agree. Most of the work involves soft skills, translating something to a colleague to get his/ her piece done. If people are not feeling a bond with your candidate, it's easier to find someone else than to force the candidate on your team.