Even if you’ve never been fishing you certainly have seen at least one time on television what I’m about to describe. A fisherman strains, his muscles flex and the rod he holds is bent to its maximum potential as he reels in his prize fish. He knows he’s got a big one. If he catches it he will pose for pictures with it, mount it on his wall, and maybe even enter the record books. The fish is almost to the boat. He reels it closer and then SNAP, tragedy strikes! The line breaks and the fish frantically gets the hell out of Dodge.
What is most heartbreaking about this scenario is that the fisherman had a glimpse, either through sight or strain on the rod, of what he had almost acquired. This is not always true in the world of hiring, however. HR and hiring managers are often unconcerned when a good candidate, a marlin for instance, gets away from them. The reason is they never understood what they had within their grasp. They never saw that stellar fish. Their ATS, an often necessary evil in the hiring world, let it get away before it even reached their hook. Even in their search for big game they may have dismissed the small nibbles dancing on their pole as nothing more than a guppy when potentially they had a record catch.
What most don’t realize is how many times they have eliminated a stellar candidate without ever seeing him or her. Their minor concern over something in the candidate’s resume or even some subconscious bias influenced their decision to ignore the prize. This candidate, the one that got away, is called a “false negative”.
In my experience good candidates get rejected based on paper, that is, either their resume or the results of an assessment.
I often use video interviewing in my recruiting efforts because it allows me to get the candidate in front of a hiring manager who otherwise might be disinclined to interview my candidate face to face. Once they see and hear the candidate’s potential via video, they are often more inclined to invest the time to interview the candidate. The video interview is like a glimpse of that marlin bursting out of the water. They see the candidate and then understand the potential of what they have.
I will discuss this subject in more detail next week in my post, “False Positives are Just as Costly as False Negatives, Even If We Never See Them.”