The Devil’s in the Details

October 19

Let's start off by watching a video:

It only takes a minute. I'll wait.

Fun? Did you get it right? That PSA is promoting bicycle safety, but it highlights a larger concern that affects the world of HR. Namely, if you’re too focused on specifics, you might miss something right in front of you.

Think of the process of reviewing or interviewing candidates. No doubt there are certain requirements to look for—educational level, experience with specific software, a certification. By concentrating only on those immediate factors, you could miss a candidate that is a match in other ways, or for another position. With the high volume of resumes piling up, it’s easy to dismiss a candidate for not being perfect. In the search for that ideal candidate, overlooking details could lead to the loss of a solid employee. Perhaps a candidate doesn’t have experience with a specific type of equipment—but look closer, and you’ll see that they didn’t have experience with equipment at their previous job, yet learned more quickly than your current employees did. Perhaps a candidate hasn’t had the level of customer interaction you had hoped for—but notice if the candidate is bilingual, which could open up customer satisfaction in other areas.

There’s a wealth of information available on techniques for hiring and interviewing, but an HR professional fills many roles at a company. Part counselor, part company guru, it's much more than just hiring. Close observation can help in other areas beyond interviewing; consider the employee who suddenly starts showing an interest in a 401(k) and health benefits? There could be underlying salary concerns. An employee over-delegating work could be masking a lack of knowledge about software.

When you’re concentrating on one thing, it's incredible the things you might miss. With all that's going on, you never know what could be happening right in front of you. It might even be a dancing bear.

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