The Hiring Dilemma: Using “It” To Break The Tie

 A Critical Doer keeps risk and failure in context with opportunity and success 

Man’s greatest conflicts are not between right and wrong.  They’re between right and right.

Frederick Hegel


It’s a pleasant dilemma when you have the luxury of choosing between two things…or two people…that are both really good choices.  Although the dilemma is pleasant, the decision is actually more difficult.

A Critical Doer understands that a hiring decision is a strategic decision meaning it can positively or negatively change the direction and culture of an organization with an impact that lasts a very long time.

There are a number of ways to break the tie, or mental logjam, when faced with the pleasant but gut-wrenching dilemma of making a hiring decision and the quality of candidates is roughly equivalent.  You can “enter the matrix”, a technique discussed in a previous post, to help you objectively evaluate and quantify the various facets of a decision.

If you’ve used this process and still find yourself struggling with the decision, here’s a piece of advice.  Look at your candidates and separate the attributes that “can’t be coached” from the ones that “can be coached.”

When I talk about attributes that can’t be coached, I’m talking about character centric attributes like integrity, energy, resilience, and loyalty.  There are things a candidate either brings or doesn’t bring.  You can actually lump these and other intangibles into a category called “it.”

Regarding things that can be coached, I’d put technical expertise, communication skills, and management skills into that category.  There is a science with these attributes that can be taught by an involved mentor that takes the success of subordinates seriously.

In the long run, if you break close hiring decision based upon the criteria of having “it” your organization will accomplish more in the long run.  A candidate with “it” will consistently earn the trust of peers and subordinates who in turn will help that person quickly round out the areas needing improvement at the outset.

Your challenge from this post is applicable regardless of whether or not you do the hiring for an organization.  Let’s address the easy case first; if you are a hiring official, don’t discount the value of “it” when making key hiring decisions.  If not, I challenge you to think carefully about whether you’re bringing “it” to the table for a prospective employer.  Although “it” really can’t be coached, it can be acquired…starting with an individual choice to let your words and deeds reflect the qualities of integrity, energy, resilience, and loyalty.  If you are willing, you’ll find plenty of people willing to help you discover “it” and perform at the level of fulfillment.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


Reminder:  you can get automatic updates from The Critical Doer by using the subscription widget at the top of this post.  You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  I also encourage you to let me know what you think of the posts or share a story of your own using the comments section or email me directly at [email protected].

Updated: August 2, 2015 — 11:52 pm