We ask questions that don’t matter, set benchmarks (KPI’s) that are measurable but have no correlation with the end result and construct hurdles (or remove them) based on stereotypes, perceptions and invisible rules based on what we went through, had to face and overcome – not based on merit, not to empower, support and grow the next generation but to qualify our own importance and protect our ego.
Questions that don’t matter
What’s the real question? – for example, What’s your salary expectation for this role? This is a floored game. Would you be willing to pay more for a disproportionate result? (likely yes, assuming the resulting benefit/sales outweighed the increase cost) yet salary is regularly used as a gate to qualify/disqualify candidates.
Do you care more about what salary you pay? or
How your new employee will tackle the complexity of issues facing your organisation and the results they can deliver?
(then why do you ask the questions in the opposing order?), remember Recruitment is a Touchpoint.
Benchmarks that are measurable but don’t correlate to the end result
If your benchmark doesn’t impact on the end result it shouldn’t be a KPI, monitor as many data points as practicable while they benefit you but don’t enforce a KPI that doesn’t correlate with results, in fact it’s always a risk to measure one item in isolation unless it’s an imperative for success. This isn’t a new idea, Peter Drucker has always said to measure what can be measured and monitor what can’t, recognizing that good intentions are no substitute for performance and results – insightful advice, difficult to implement, often in conflict with ‘the way we’ve always done it’, the rules (there’s only one reason for a rule).
Stereotype, perception and invisible rule hurdles
You are important, you have done great work and that is one of the core reasons others want to pursue what you’ve excelled at, our experience will be different. We don’t understand what you’ve gone through (but we’d like to, we’re ready to listen) and to do the hard yards necessary to be successful, we’re not looking for a shortcut, we’re happy to clear reasonable, well defined hurdles and demonstrate competency. We just need someone to back us, to give us a shot – who did that for you?
We do all these things as defence and safety mechanisms.
Being honest, reflecting and being vulnerable is difficult.
It’s also worthwhile, builds connection and delivers results.
The question is,
What do you really want to know?
What is is the real question?