Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

October 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment  

Dear Colleagues,

We’ve all heard the very common expression: “don’t judge a book by its cover”, it’s an allegorical phrase which means “don’t decide the value of something based on its appearance”. Let’s face it, we will never stop making those judgments simply because “the look” is the very first impression that we have of ether a person or an object. Perhaps the word “judgment” is too strong in this case since it’s more of a “reaction” than anything else. If reaction is good we tend to think of it as “chemistry” if it’s bad then we think that we’ve made a “judgment”. But at the end of the day it’s a reaction.

When it comes to hiring process both employer and a job seeker go though a wide range of different reactions, assumptions and conclusions. Most of them are often based on the “gut feeling” not the actual facts or the information.

The employer will always have the upper hand since it’s the employer who is selecting vs. job seeker is looking to be selected. There for when it comes to the job interview both parties come with a different but challenging goals in mind.

Let me relate this to a particular challenge that many HR managers and business owners have experience: hiring someone who in reality has fewer skills than he (she) listed on the resume. The one particular skill that 89% of employers listed was less that expected proficiency in Microsoft Office skills. Here is the simple solution: if knowing Microsoft Office (all or some of it components) is important for your organization, don’t assume. There is a range of inexpensive online skills testing that can provide employer with very precise information about proficiency lever of each candidate that has taken that still test. When it comes to Microsoft Office skills testing can be conducted on each program separately (Exel, Power Point, Microsoft Word etc) or it can be offered as a bundle it really depends on the requirements.

A word of caution: Recently we’ve encountered a situation when employer decided to treat skills testing as integrity testing at the same time. This is a big (but not uncommon) mistake. You have probably guessed what happened. Potential employee failed Microsoft Exel testing after stating in the resume knowledge of the program. The thing is that many job seekers and even general population doesn’t know how proficient they are in one or the other computer program as long as they are able to use it for their particular purpose.

For example I know how to use Adobe Photoshop to crop some pictures, delete unwanted background or cut and past image from one picture in to another. So technically I know how to use that program. But what would happen if I was to get a job at a graphic design company? You’ve guessed it, I’d be lucky if they kept me as lunch delivery guy.

To sum this all up:

Don’t guess

Test before you assume

And…After looking at the cover do open the book and see what is inside before deciding if you like it or not.

Written by:

Gary plays a key role in leading and defining solutions to help companies overcome “people challenges” to create productive, engaging and prosperous workplaces. Twenty years of business experience including management and human resources, working with small companies and Fortune 500 firms gives Gary a solid “hands-on” knowledge of the industry. His passion is to promote ideas, solutions and technology that inspire excellence at a workplace and creates positive change. Gary’s primary focus is the development of business solutions to help companies evaluate, select and develop the very best people. In addition to managing a team and overseeing custom program development for the client, Gary works to increase each company’s productivity and employee engagement by implementing wide range of evaluation tools and strong system of support.

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