Recruiting and Staffing

What the Presidential Election Can Teach Us About Hiring

mitt_romney

If you think about it, a presidential election is little more than a long, intense, and extremely personal interview. It’s where the people of the United States hire their next national leader.

Here’s what choosing the next president can teach us about choosing your next hire.

Consistency is never a bad quality

  • Oval Office: To win the White House, a candidate has to be consistently performing – delivering wins in primaries, debates, and speeches – over the entire 1+ year election cycle. Even one moderate gaffe can derail a campaign.
  • Corner Office: The best will always be the best – their resumes and experience will show consistent excellence over time. They should be equally impressive throughout the interview process, as well. When it comes to high-quality hires, appearance should be reality. Reality can’t be faked, and it doesn’t change.

Follow through or face the consequences

  • Oval Office: Nothing irks a constituency quite like an undelivered promise, but nothing helps an election quite like a bold directive from the future leader of the free world. Campaign promises are like catnip to presidential hopefuls – but often reality conspires against them.
  • Corner Office: Candidates should be able to talk a big game and show successes to distinguish themselves from others. They should be able to articulate what they can give your company that others couldn’t. But when push comes to shove, they need to deliver.

Personal & professional are separate – and both matter

  • Oval Office: Every candidate’s closet will be thoroughly examined for skeletons well before they’re even nominated. Their past will be combed for any moral faults or past missteps. Even genuinely insignificant mistakes become seismic under the lens of an election. And the ugly head of many predispositions rears its head.
  • Corner Office: Luckily, the job market is quite a bit more protected. But right or wrong, your hobbies, interests, and personal life might be the deciding factor in whether or not you connect with your hiring manager. It’s easy to say this is wrong – but what about team cohesiveness? Open (but admittedly tame) example: Is it wrong to select an equally talented golfer in an office full of Phil Mickelson fanatics?

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.

Eric Gaydos is the former Buzz Marketing Manager at The Resumator, a SaaS applicant tracking system and recruiting platform trusted by many of the fastest-growing companies in the world. You can also connect with The Resumator on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theresumator.
  • John H

    This is actually a good example of how someone can be an ace interviewee and then find themselves in way over their head when they get the job they say they want.  It’s expensive to make a bad hire.