dj magazine  
Recuiting Employees



Search DJzone

DJ Magazine

This Issue
Daily News


Issue Archives
DJ Games
DJ Musiclists
DJ Book Store
Gear Mall
DJ Software
Business Center



Recruiting: Are You Hiring Charm or Competence?

Executive recruiter Harvey Wigder still remembers a charming financial whiz who quickly emerged as the lead candidate for a top-level job. But then Wigder began finding glitches in the candidate's resume and references. "It turned out he was a con artist who spent time in jail for mail fraud," Wigder says. "He was so slick that one person he swindled out of a half-million dollars still liked him."

Such near disasters are rare, of course. But Wigder says any time a company hires the wrong person, "the consequences are very serious." His advice on how to spot the real winners:

  • Don't mistake charm for competence: Candidates with strong people skills tend to interview well, Wigder points out, but they may lack the specific experience and skills that a company needs for growth. A key part of every job description should be "a concise, clear statement -- in writing -- of the training and background the position requires," he suggests.


  • Don't talk too much: Before describing the job in detail, says Wigder, it's a good idea to ask open-ended questions that reveal as much as possible about the candidate's own career goals and personality. Never get drawn into long-winded discussions about yourself or the company, he adds. "A good interviewer should talk no more than 20% of the time."


  • Don't ignore test results: Personality and skill tests are controversial, especially for senior executives. But Wigder argues that objective tests "keep everyone honest and objective" and can raise "red flags" about potential performance problems.


  • Don't jump the gun: "It's always tempting to settle for the first person who can do a job," Wigder says, but the recruiting process almost invariably works better when a company compares at least two candidates. "When in doubt, do not hire. In hiring, patience is always rewarded."


  • Don't neglect a reference check: "The single best way to learn what a person will accomplish," says Wigder, "is to learn what he did in previous situations." Peers, subordinates, and customers can all provide useful insights, but the best references are usually the candidate's ex-boses. "Always talk to supervisors," Wigder insists.


Harvey Wigder is principal consultant at The Enterprise Group, Newton, Mass. (617/964-1855).




web hosting | how to advertise | submit an article  

  about DJzone

DJzone network: | | | | | | | |

   DJzone | letters to the editor | features | reviews | daily music news | classifieds | resources

Copyright © 2003 DJzone, Inc. All rights reserved.