Oh the list of barriers that get in the way of hiring the best people for your team: being unprepared, providing a poor candidate experience, weak pool of candidates, the Coriolis effect, and more. Ok, maybe not the Coriolis effect, but I’ve been dying to find a way to work it into a blog post and this was the closest I could get. All joking aside, the deck is stacked against you on many levels and I just discovered another card for that deck. The good news is that it’s easily fixed, but the bad news is that you probably don’t know you’re doing it. That barrier is: Priming.
A lot of smart people back in the 70’s got together and realized that they could manipulate a person at a subconscious level to do whatever they wanted that person to do by using something call “priming”. In short, by messing with you in ways that you’re not remotely aware of they can make you walk slower or faster, eat more food, choose a healthy or poor snack, feel older or younger, sap will power and more. Insert evil scientist laugh here. I shared an experiment a while ago about how a hot or cold cup of coffee could be the difference between being hired or not. Recently I came across the concept of priming again while reading “Think Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, and it got me thinking about all the ways hiring managers are routinely priming themselves to make a poor hiring decision.
Think about that last interview you conducted and is it possible that any of these thoughts passed through your mind before the interview:
- I need to make a hire now.
- That territory has be open for too long.
- I’ve been through too many candidates. There has to be a good one out there.
- The team is strained by picking up the slack from that missing person.
- I could probably make things work if I just put a steady person in that role.
If you’ve had any of those thoughts, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Now imagine if you prime your mind in the other direction before you step into your next interview:
- This position demands that I make only the best hiring decision.
- Time isn’t as important as getting the right person.
- If I get to the 20th interview and I’ve not seen the right person for this role, then I’m moving to the 21st
- Think about your top performers on your team, and think about your conversations you have with them about planning and execution in the field.
- Tell yourself to watch out for the mind saying, “but everything else looks good” when you crack the veneer of a candidate for whom you had high hopes.
It seems obvious which mindset to take into the next interview when you look at the bullet points above; however, how many times have you had your mind primed to accept a mid-level or worse performer in your past interviews? We make sure that our team is primed to help you hire the right people when we interview sales candidates. If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you hire the best sales people, contact us now.