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Avoid blind hiring when adding staff

Great interviewers can overlook crucial details and are better positioned if hiring by committee

June 9, 2017  By Scott Wintrip

Here you are again. Your organization just hired another employee who didn’t perform as expected, in spite of giving a great interview. Too often, candidates who present sparkling resumes and great initial impressions disappoint when they show up for work. Over time, these underperforming employees diminish morale, reduce efficiency, and cripple companies. If this scenario describes your business’ hiring record, you’re not alone.

According to hiring consultant Scott Wintrip, a phenomenon called hiring blindness is to blame – and its effects can be devastating to a company and its team members.

Fortunately, Wintrip has a solution. Rather than counting on one person to interview prospective employees, use a hiring team.

“Hiring blindness consistently results in ill-suited employment pairings,” says Wintrip, author of High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant (McGraw-Hill Education; April 2017; ISBN: 978-1-2598594-7-2; $30). “That’s because great interviewers routinely overlook crucial details, even when they’re supported by a rigorous candidate selection process. A hiring team works together to ensure that they get an accurate impression of each candidate every time.”


Wintrip further explains that hiring blindness occurs when an individual fails to recognize an unexpected stimulus that’s right in front of their eyes. Hiring blindness is often to blame when candidates who interviewed well perform poorly or aren’t as qualified as they appear. Natural gaps and limits in perception keep hiring managers from accurately assessing a job candidate’s abilities. The key to curing hiring blindness is to build a team of hiring managers with complementary hiring styles and formatting all interviews as a team effort.

“This team approach reduces effort and increases hiring speed,” Wintrip adds. “Instead of separate interviews that consume most of the day, a brief screening interview by phone is followed by one hands-on interview with the hiring team. With all four hiring styles in the room, interviewers rarely miss anything that’s important or unexpected.”


Keep reading for insights into the four hiring styles and how they can work together to hire the best candidate every time.

Determine your hiring style.
Your personality, expertise, and experiences shape your approach to leadership and how you select talent, Wintrip explains. The four hiring styles are listed below. While none of these styles is “bad,” if an interviewer becomes too reliant on his dominant hiring style, it can distort his overview of reality and the result is often a bad hire.

  • Tacklers are fast and decisive. They want to be in control and reach goals quickly. During interviews, they get to the point quickly and appreciate people who do the same. Tacklers tend to hire candidates they think will condense timelines and hit targets fast.
  • Tellers are talkers. They use their communication skills to motivate people. During interviews they talk a lot, often selling the candidate on the company and potential opportunities. Tellers tend to hire candidates they think will act upon what the teller has said.
  • Tailors are collaborators. They point out that there’s no “I” in “team.” During interviews they build a rapport and allow conversation to become an open exchange of thoughts and feelings. Tailors tend to hire candidates they think are capable of cultivating strong workplace relationships.
  • Testers are data-driven. They thrive on clarity. They make decisions based on tangible evidence. During interviews, they gather pertinent details and value facts over stories. Testers tend to hire candidates who offer quantitative evidence that they’re right for the job.

Recognize your blind spots.
Blind spots hamper effective interviewing, so be sure to listen to and communicate with your teammates for added insight into each job candidate. Tacklers see drive, tellers see buy-in to the company mission, Tailors see potential collaborators, and testers see details. All four styles tend to miss things the others see; therefore every bit of input matters greatly.

“To put it simply, people have a tendency to see what they’re looking for, especially when their minds are primed and ready to see specific things,” Wintrip says. “In hiring terms what this means is that you can be blinded by your own expectations.”

Assemble a well-rounded team of hiring managers.
It’s important to stack your hiring team with people of all four styles. This will give you an expansive, 360-degree view of a candidate. A diverse, complementary team rarely misses important cues.

“A team composed of people with diverse hiring styles gives you a more expansive and realistic perspective than if your team were composed of people with just one or two styles,” says Wintrip. “To assemble a diverse team, identify three people with hiring styles different from your own. By drawing from a diverse set of strengths, you will be able to choose the best possible candidate for the job at hand.”

Before conducting an interview, co-ordinate your team’s best efforts.
To best leverage each hiring style, your team should have a discussion that answers the following questions:

  • What are my style’s blind spots?
  • What other styles can better see what I’m not seeing?
  • What past hiring mistakes have we made repeatedly?
    How will the hiring team use its combined styles to avoid those mistakes
  • What do we need to know about a candidate? What can we do to uncover that information? Which styles are best suited for spotting those details?

“Failing to hire the right candidate quickly cripples companies,” Wintrip concludes. “As the speed of business continues to increase, it’s more important than ever to fill open positions with precision and accuracy. Companies must streamline their selection process for identifying top talent. A hiring team is the answer. Together, they can use their collective skills to quickly spot the best candidate and help their company thrive.”

Scott Wintrip has changed how thousands of companies across the globe find and select employees, helping design and implement a process to hire top talent in less than an hour. Over the past 18 years, he built the Wintrip Consulting Group (WintripConsultingGroup.com), a thriving global consultancy. Wintrip has been awarded a place on the “Staffing 100,” a list of the world’s 100 most influential staffing leaders. He’s also a member of the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame and was recently inducted into the Staffing 100 Hall of Fame.

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