Today’s guest blogger is Laura LaBine from LaBine and Associates in the San Francisco Bay Area (USA). Laura is a member of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors, with responsibility for the network’s practice groups. LaBine and Associates is a boutique recruitment firm specializing in placing highly skilled individuals with clients in the cybersecurity, clean energy, high tech, fin-tech and other industries.
Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct. You can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble.
The art of recruiting involves great use of discernment. In fact, I always say that our clients pay for my ability to judge others. But of course, there is great danger in assuming without validating. This is true for both client development and candidate management.
It’s easy to make assumptions; we do it all the time when we’re reading resumes. Much of assuming is because we may have developed opinions based on previous information. This is pretty much the same as bias, which is dangerous. Bias as an unconscious determination can obstruct things, including quality placements.
Assumptions hurt, both us and others. Even though they may be an easy way out, keeping us from taking true responsibility, they also keep us in the past. Instead of asking questions to get information, assumptions keep us lazy and are usually wrong. They can foster a negative mindset, and reinforce bias. Assumptions based on stereotypes are damaging, but so are those based on ability and motivation.
Never assume your candidates’ interest. Never assume their goals. Never assume that your client is happy with everything. Keep asking questions, so that you can receive feedback. We are professional interviewers, and the art of asking questions is how we get information. Deepen your compassion for others by understanding fears that lay behind assumptions.