Don't be Fooled by the Perfect Resume

Your Perfect Candidate May Not be so Perfect

By Rebecca Barnes-Hogg Founder, YOLO Insights | March 12, 2017

You found your perfect candidate. Their resume is a dream come true—it matches your requirements exactly and you hire him or her. The anticipation of having this amazing person on your team builds as you eagerly look forward to their first day on the job. Once they are on board, however, your excitement quickly turns to dread as you realize your perfect candidate fails to live up to their perfect resume. Have you found the perfect candidate and on their first day of work, that candidate was not what you expected? This happens far more often than one might expect, and it can be avoided with some strategic thinking about your recruiting process.

Did you know that only 10% of companies feel they do a good job of recruiting? Those odds may feel stacked against you. So, how do you know whether your candidates are as perfect as their resume makes them appear?

It’s difficult, especially when the Internet is a prolific source of how-tos for everything from writing a resume and cover letter to answering commonly asked interview questions. There are key strategies you can use in your recruiting process to more accurately assess whether your perfect candidate is behind that perfect resume.

Be Aware of Your Bias

On a recent flight, my seatmate rushed to get in a last phone call before takeoff. In the process of finishing his call and switching on airplane mode, he dropped his phone. The plane was pushing back from the gate and he had to stay in his seat. I could see he was stressed because he didn’t have his phone (Can’t most of us relate?) and when we reached cruising altitude, he looked around and was unable to find it. He was sure his phone had rolled to the back of our section and he’d be unable to get it until we landed.

After we landed, I noticed the phone next to his foot and told him he was about to step on it. Rather than looking down, he insisted the phone was at the back of the section. This man was so sure of his phone’s location, that he failed to believe it was literally at his feet.

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Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.