Moving Beyond the “Hive Mind” When Recruiting

Bees. The golden with black stripes heroes of pollination. You no doubt have heard of their “hive mind”: the coordinated behavior they appear to exhibit, all in the benefit of the hive. It’s as if the there’s a single mind controlling each bee’s behavior. This is the “hive mind.”

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In recruiting, a “hive mind” is one in which recruiters and hiring managers always look for people who fill a certain mold, who have certain characteristics, have the same background, see the world in the same way.

Instead, to truly compete in 2020 and beyond, we believe your organization should search for candidates who have a mind of their own, who don’t think the same way you do, who are different.

Right now is the perfect time to expand your “perfect hire” beliefs

Many – far too many – great people are now out of work and hot in their hunts for new employment, making it easy to find people who aren’t your “typical” type of candidates who nevertheless would make terrific employees. 

Beginning the reframe

Take a look at the characteristics, backgrounds and skills of current employees you believe have the best qualifications for their positions. Remember that except for specific training for technical opportunities, job requirements most often are malleable.

As you look at your best employees, don’t worry so much about specific past jobs or past education – particularly schools attended – but more about their accomplishments. Also, look at their key characteristics: are they go-getters or are they a bit reticent? Do they work best alone or in teams? Remember, you’re not looking for specific experiences but their accomplishments and the characteristics that helped them make those accomplishments.

Ascertaining what it takes to actually succeed in a role and then looking for the particular characteristics of those successful workers, helps you change your thinking as to “what kind” of candidate will succeed.

Look for candidates who overcome obstacles and talk to them about how they thought about the challenges and what they did to overcome them.

Such people tend to those have the natural ability to roll with the punches, figure out how to overcome roadblocks and apply their past experiences to figuring out how to succeed in new situations.

Focus on transferable skills and behaviors rather than specific industry experience

For example, if an administrative assistant with considerable payroll experience was able to upgrade her previous employer’s (a regional insurance company) payroll system, surely she can manage the payroll for your furniture manufacturing enterprise?

Remember: if you’re leery of such an individual’s ability to transfer from one industry to another, robust behavioral interviews that focus on the tasks pertinent to the job can help you ascertain if they’d be a good fit. After all, past behavior almost always is an accurate predictor of future behavior.

Hiring from “outside the hive” can bring your company a competitive advantage

Diverse teams of people with different backgrounds, education, skills, and work history create diverse teams, helping employees move away from “groupthink,” encouraging your business to change outdated views that no longer serve your company and move easily into the many changes that this second decade of the second millennium no doubt will bring.

What’s more, in these weeks of massive unemployment, your company would be helping someone who’s “not perfect” in the sense of specific background or industry experience find work.

Looking for great people for your Southern California company? Helpmates has terrific specialists thoroughly vetted and well-oriented in best Covid-19 workplace practices to work on assignment for you either on-site or remotely. Contact the branch location nearest you to learn more.

 

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