Something interesting happened!!
So to be honest I was not sure what I was going to write about this week. On Monday morning I was not going to write anything, but then I remembered an interesting chain of events that took place at work a few months ago, I thought you might find entertaining.
I had a potential candidate come to be by way of a recent hire. This person was very nice, great communication, smart; they seemed to have it all. He, in fact was a perfect match for a position I was looking to fill. But in listening very carefully to everything he said I started to hear a pattern. A pattern that made me question, his confidence. It was not obvious but it was there. Whenever they answered a question it almost seemed like instead of telling me the answer they were asking. I decided to have another staffing professional (SP) talk with them to see if perhaps it was just me. The other SP said had I not brought it up to them they would not have noticed but it was there. So I spoke to the candidate about it, and he was surprised, he had never noticed it either. I told him it was subtle, but it was there. The thing was he had been at the same company for over10 years so he had not interviewed for some time, so it was not a surprise he was not aware of it. I told him I have given a lot of interviewer training and that I know all my hiring managers (HM) would notice as well, especially the one I had in mind. The question was what to do about it. The person who sent this candidate my way raved about him. So given this I decided to go the extra mile and help with this issue. I decided with the candidates permission to re interview him but this time to record it, I first went to HR and legal and made sure It was okay, and as long as I had a signed waiver I was good. I then re interviewed him and after it, we listened together to it, and he immediately noticed what I meant. So then came what to do about it?
I decided to ask him who wrote his resume, he said a friend in HR. This made me wonder so I asked him to rewrite it in his words, not all of it just his last position. Once he was done I read it and sure enough there it was a passive, almost questioning style of writing even when making a statement of fact. Of course this automatically made me wonder about his ability to make a decision. So I decided to test him. I talked with him again and gave him some questions that would force him to make a decision and then defend it. He did great; in fact better than great, of course he and I had now been working on all this for about 3 days. It started making me wonder, and to make a long story short his speaking style changed as he becomes more familiar with someone. Once he knows you he had no problem making statements that are actual statements not boarding on questions. So then came, what to do about it as it related to this HM.
For this I decided to have this candidates speak several times to the HM twice on the phone and then in person. I told the HM the first talk on the phone should be less about the job and more about, getting to know the candidate. The second talk on the phone was more about the candidates work background, and the job. Of course realize that by now the candidate was very comfortable with the HM and had no problems answering any question with a confidence and straight forwardness one would expect in an interview. Not a hint of questioning answers.
Long story short the candidate got hired, and is doing great. About 2 weeks ago he and I chatted, and I came to find out he is from a very religious family, and their belief system brought him up to be more passive in communication, so as not to offend anyone. Of course I could not ask that question during an interview. While he himself was not as devote a follower of said religion, he still maintained certain habits, and it is not until he gets comfortable with you he is willing to let those habits go. What I took away from the whole thing is, that things are not always what they appear to be, that sometimes there is some underlying reason for certain behaviors and actions that sometimes it is worth taking the extra effort and time to find out, to help and to learn.