Choose Your Next Hire Wisely

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By Brian Krogh

The next time you are considering hiring the person sitting across the room from you remember, every relationship is its own three-legged race.

Now, your last three-legged race may be years behind you, but you remember the game. Your ankle is strapped to the ankle of your partner and together you must run, walk, and trip over yourselves towards a common goal. At best you work together as one perfectly flowing unit. However, there are also times you struggle through the challenges that occur when one partner veers off course or changes pace.

When you enter into any relationship you, in a sense, tie yourself to that person. We are not just talking about romantic relationships here, but any friendship or connection – from acquaintances on LinkedIn to co-workers to your closest friend. Every relationship in which we engage links us to another person.

Most of the time we get to choose with whom we enter the three-legged race, and we ought not take this opportunity lightly!   When it comes to relationships, there is an important truth to remember – we shape our relationships, AND our relationships shape us.

Our working relationships are important. We spend a great deal of our time with those whom we work and these relationships, like any other relationship, have a shaping effect on us.

So, before you extend a job offer to a candidate, remember: this person to whom you are about to link yourself and your organization will have a shaping effect on the company, department, and colleagues with whom they will work. Of course, your culture may impact this new hire, but every new hire will definitely have an impact on your culture.

We all know what it is like to be linked to a colleague with whom we are glad we are running. They make us better. And together we run faster and further than we could on our own.

But we also know what it is like to be tied to someone at work with whom we are struggling to walk. Our three-legged race is a disaster. They head in a direction we do not want to go and we find ourselves tripping over one another and fighting the entire way. The process of untying yourself from that person can be difficult and painful. It would be better to avoid tying ourselves together in the first place.

As you sit in that chair considering a candidate and preparing to extend an offer, remember, we shape our relationships, but our relationships also shape us.  Choose wisely.

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