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Do you recruit like Cyclops?

October 12, 2014
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, Public Domain
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, Public Domain

Myopic: [mahy-op-ik], adjective

1. Ophthalmology: pertaining to or having myopia; nearsighted.
2. Unable or unwilling to act prudently; shortsighted.
3. Lacking tolerance or understanding; narrow-minded.



Think about how your organization approaches recruiting…are you open minded? Do processes reflect organizational imagination? Are those involved able to recognize and appreciate potential? Are you in denial?

If thinking about these things causes you to squirm a little, that’s OK. There’s hope.

Organizations often miss cues from potential employees who are poised for growth. Yet, capacity is exactly what we should be looking for…even if it scares [some of] us out of our respective comfort zones.

Calling out the Cyclops

“They haven’t done [exactly this] before and, thus, aren’t equipped for this particular job.”

Hmmm…perhaps they scare you. You might lack imagination…introspect.

“They don’t have [a specific experience] and, therefore, don’t have the skills.”

Really? You might be saying you don’t want to invest in training and development, despite the fact that the person has great capacity. Or, you might be ignoring transferability of KSAs. Either way, introspect.

“They don’t fit in because they’ve only worked [here, here, and here].”

Nonsense. You might really be saying that change agents, no matter how non-threatening, challenge that inner voice that says “but, we’ve always done it that way…”. Introspect.

“We’ve never hired anyone like them, so they won’t fit in.”

Again…nonsense. Employees who think differently can breathe new life into an organization’s mission and vision. If common values are present, the problem is mindset and how you are judging them – and therefore judging yourself. [Dude, that’s deep…] Introspect.

Recruitment processes should be overwhelmingly quantifiable and transparent to offset human feelings. Myopia blocks and/or distorts our vision. We can’t (or won’t) see the full 360° of the strategic field, which cripples our ability to fully unleash our organizational awesome. Let’s face it, change is tough. Even when we might think we’re poised for change, saying all the right words and acting the part, we might still feel a little reluctant or insecure. S’ok. Now we know.

The Opportunity (Ta Da!)

If someone doesn’t fit the mold or thinks differently, good for you! You’ve been fortunate to attract someone who can challenge the status quo and move your organization forward. It’s all about agility and sustainable growth. Challenge narrow-mindedness at every turn. Work to understand a candidate’s depth through a healthy organizational imagination.

Nowhere in mythology can we find that Cyclops ever hired someone. [yeah, that would be a weird interview, I know.] The takeaway: don’t be a Cyclops. Look introspectively and get right with any uneasiness.

Thought leadership means fearless diversity of thought.

Death to the Cyclops!

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