How finding the right candidate is like finding a great whisky

We all know how hard it is to find that perfect candidate. There are always a large number and variety to choose from, each with their own specific characteristics, skills and experience. Sometimes it’s hard to sort through the noise to get to ‘the one’, often overlooking great potential because it doesn’t look right. For me it’s a bit like finding a great single malt whisky.

blogwhiskyThere are so many whisky varieties, all have differences derived from where they were made, these are sometimes subtle, other times not so. Often you rely on people you know and trust to suggest something new, sometimes it’s the person behind the counter, or a stranger you happen to speak to while perusing the aisles at Dan Murphy’s. And so it is with finding the right candidate for that hard-to-fill role.

It’s easy to go for the well known brand, instantly recognisable; like having all the right key words, job titles or well known organisations listed on a CV. At first this feels right, you feel safe in the knowledge that everyone thinks this is a good choice. Sometimes this doesn’t work out well in the long run, similar to mass produced whiskies that don’t age well.

Or you might be swayed by a clever marketing campaign, a slick sales pitch; like the candidate who interviews so smoothly that you think they must be the right fit. It’s almost like you don’t have a choice, so you go for it, only to find that some of the things you were told or saw, weren’t real. You ended up buying a blended whisky impersonating a single malt.

However, to find a really good whisky takes time. You need to talk to a lot of people, from a diverse group, in order to find what you might be missing by ignoring those lesser known brands. The ones with a unique story, and subtle hints or notes, that when given the chance will out-perform and outlast the more obvious choices. This is where the art is. It’s in having the courage to try, the patience to wait, and the confidence to influence those who do not have the appetite to stray from the well-trodden path.

By unearthing a unique candidate and giving them a chance to shine, you are helping to educate clients that sometimes the bottle at the back with the plain label, the one that most people overlook, may actually surprise with character, quality and shelf life.

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Steve Winnick
Senior Consultant

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