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As you hire candidates or interview them, do you find yourself wishing you could somehow put together the good qualities of two or more people into one ideal candidate? Unfortunately, there is no way to piece together the ideal employee – a little enthusiasm from one, a bit more experience from the other. Rather, many job recruiters and employers find themselves facing the problem of perfectionism. You keep looking and keep hoping that the perfect employee is out there.

Don’t Rush But Improve the Hiring Process

Job recruiters should not rush through the hiring process and just choose anyone. However, if you are developing an unhealthy level of perfectionism searching, it may be time to make a few key changes to the way you are hiring. By tweaking your hiring process, you will be able to reduce the amount of time you are spending looking for the perfect applicant.

Must Have Qualities First

The first thing to do is to make a list of the must have features of the candidates you are hiring. Instead of focusing on what good and bad qualities a person has, look at how well the candidates stack up against your list of job skills or other requirements they must have. Score the applicant based on these qualifications rather than on the “good and bad” list.

Use a Team to Hire

Instead of relying on yourself to make the only decision about who is hired and who does not, you should use a team approach. Those who are perfectionists may find it very hard to turn over the reins to someone else, but doing so is critically important. Get more perspectives from others on the hiring team, even if the final decision is your own. Do not allow your ruling be the deciding factor. Talk it out until you come to an agreement as a team.

Learn from Past Hires

For those positions you are re-hiring for due to a bad experience previously, you may want to look at the qualities you hired for in the past. Did they work out? Did they provide enough information to help you to land the ideal candidate? It is common for perfectionists to criticize themselves, but that is not the goal. Here, you want to know what mistakes you made in that hiring decision so you can avoid them in the next one.

Don’t Hire a Perfectionist Either

Finally, be sure you are not hiring someone that is a perfectionist. While this may initially seem like a good thing, the problem is that these individuals often lack the ability to work as a team. Look for an applicant that is more rounded. You can tell a perfectionist from the pack because these individuals often use a lot of self-promotion but are not willing to take risks.

As you look at your current hiring process, ask yourself what the long-term goals are for this position. Do those top five qualities you are looking for fill the need ideally? Let go a bit and ensure you are not falling for the perfect candidate trap. He or she is not out there.


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