In 2010, renowned financial author Michael Lewis released The Big Short, a book about the massive crash on Wall Street in 2008. In the book, Lewis focused on some people who accurately predicted the crash and made a lot of money off of it – including Dr. Michael Blurry, a former neurologist with Asperger’s syndrome who was blind in one eye – and people who did not – including AIG’s Joseph Cassano, who was considered a leader in the financial field and a longtime finance executive.
Now imagine you were hiring someone to run an investment bank and two people apply: Cassano and Blurry. Cassano’s resume is far more impressive, with many more years of experience for more prestigious companies. He’ll probably interview better, as well. And chances are Cassano will get the job, and it will be a good hire – on paper. Until the crash comes, where Blurry makes his clients $700 million richer, while Cassano lost your company a cool $99 billion (the estimated losses of AIG’s financial products during the 2008 crash, which he headed).
The point? Resumes do not tell the whole story. Yes, experience is important, but what experiences exactly? Is someone with different experiences better sometimes because they bring in a new perspective? While we don’t totally agree with Robert Brault’s quote, “You only lack experience if they want it done the same old way,” it certainly has some degree of truth.
So what we propose is to go beyond the resume and become a hiring trailblazer. How? Here are some tips:
1. Define The Skills You Want, Not The Experience You Want
You need someone to do internet marketing for you. You want someone with two to five years of internet marketing experience, right? Well, not exactly. You want someone who knows how to write engaging copy for the web and understands SEO and social media. In other words, you are looking for a person with a set of skills, not a person with particular experience.
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2. Do A Screening Interview
This is crucial. We recommend a VoiceGlance interview that emphasizes both knowledge and scenario questions. This tells you two things: if the person can handle pressure (having to answer a string of difficult interview questions one after another is not easy) and if they have the knowledge needed for the job. A person’s situation handling and depth-of-knowledge shown in those interview answers can be far more revealing than the amount of years they work, where.
3. Don’t Let Biases Affect Your Decision
Blurry, thanks to his Asperger’s syndrome, is a socially inept person and would likely interview poorly. Yet, he was still great at his job. So unless the job involves being socially adept (i.e. a manager, sales, customer service, etc.), you are far better off focusing on the content of a candidate’s answer than the way in which the candidate delivered it. This again is perhaps best achieved via VoiceGlance interview, with both the names of the candidates and the audio of their answers blocked. Then, the focus is solely on the transcript, i.e. the content, of the answer.