Are You A Victim Of Fake Enthusiasm?
by Ryan Kohler
A few years ago a friend of mine worked as the hiring manager for a rapidly expanding start-up company. They had to hire new employees nearly every week, and it was important that everyone hit the ground running because the company was so busy.
They hired one guy who seemed extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity. In the interview, he went on and on about all the great things he was going to accomplish for the company. But once he was hired, his manager was extremely underwhelmed by his job performance. He seemed to be toiling away at his computer, but not much was getting done. So after he left one night, they checked his search history and discovered he had spent the entire first month at their company applying for other jobs. He was cashing their paychecks to fund his job search.
In times of economic turmoil where so many people are out of work and can’t find the jobs they want, you may get a lot of applicants who are just looking for something to pay the bills, who will jump ship as soon as something better comes along. How can you find genuine job seekers? How can you avoid becoming a victim of fake enthusiasm?
How To Spot Phony Job Applicants:
1. Is The Applicant Over-Qualified?
It may seem harsh to punish someone for being too experienced. After all, won’t you miss out on a potential goldmine if you shun anyone who seems to good to be true? But the unfortunate truth is that no one wants to keep a job that is “beneath them”. There may be an exception if the applicant seems genuinely passionate about your particular company and the work you’re doing, but generally speaking, you’re not doing yourself any favors hiring someone who has worked in a much higher position with more responsibilities and better pay. A person like that will not usually be satisfied taking a step back professionally, and you’re destined to lose them when something better materializes.
2. Is The Candidate Knowledgeable About Your Company?
People who are looking for a job to fill the gap will apply for as many positions as possible. This means they won’t have time to study up on every job and every company to which they’ve applied. Pay attention from the very first time you call the applicant to schedule an interview: do they remember applying to your company? Do they know what you do? Do they understand the position and the opportunity, or do you have to explain it to them? If an applicant hasn’t done their research, they’re probably not that excited to work for you.
3. Do The Candidate’s Answers Sound Fishy?
A job interview should involve a lot of questions – as many detailed, probing questions as possible. The more you press, the more you’ll drill down past the phony interview answers to the actual truth. Ask the applicant why they want to work for your company, and why they want that specific job position. If the answers are vague, like “It seems like a great place to work,” or “The people seem really nice”, then it’s time to push harder, or simply cut them loose. Applicants should have specific and personal reasons for wanting to work for your company. If you’re simply a paycheck, they’re not going to fully apply themselves, and they won’t stay long.
Every employee you hire is an investment of time, money, and opportunity. That’s why it’s so important to choose people who will work hard and stick around so your investment can reap dividends. When hiring new employees, avoid the phonies who are looking for a temporary solution and spend the time to find the people who genuinely want to carve out a place at your company.
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