By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
No one starts the hiring process expecting to fall into the Goldilocks Trap. But people can—and do—just the same. How do you avoid it?
Who doesn’t know the story of Goldilocks and her search for ‘just right’? She spent so much time searching that she barely escaped from the bears. Searching for ‘just right’ when you are hiring is a similarly unproductive strategy.
After all the time you’ve spent thinking about hiring before you actually pulled the trigger, it’s no surprise you would have a picture in your mind of the best person to hire. The problem starts when you hold too tightly to that picture.
Break up your thinking by drawing a clear line between need and nice-to-have. If you are hiring to replace someone, need is easier to define and nice-to-have becomes a bonus. If you are hiring your first staffer, though, beware of putting a nice-to-have in the need column. It can cost you an otherwise good hire.
Don’t expect you can assemble a group of candidates and make a choice. It can happen, sure. More often, you’ll find that qualified candidates show up sequentially. Passing on one and electing to wait introduces risk you might not need.
Watch out for the bias that creeps in when you start to think about the reasons why someone would want this job. That’s because what you are probably thinking is why it is that you would want this job. And you aren’t the person you are trying to hire.
It’s easy to get tangled in the Goldilocks trap without even realizing it. Just knowing it can happen can help you avoid it.