The Perfect Hire or the Right Hire: Which Are You Looking For?

by Jennifer Britton

One of my favorite aspects of being a recruiter is working together with companies to discover the candidate profile their organization needs. Having worked for years in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) industry and having once been a CPG hiring manager myself, I have the ability to quickly assess a client’s needs and begin honest conversations about what they are looking for and why. My experience being in my clients’ seats makes me ask questions that others may not know to ask and helps my team and I build the long-term strategic partnerships that we strive for.

As a hiring manager, one of the biggest mistakes I would make was that I looked for the one candidate that checked every box or filled every need. While I spent all this time looking for the “perfect candidate,” I was losing productivity on my team, feeling the pressure from not supporting my retailer properly, and worrying as HQ breathed down my neck about missed forecasts. With all this going on, I still couldn’t see that I was being too specific and looking for someone who either didn’t exist, or would just take far too long to find.

During this period of time, I lost sight of the fact that I could teach a lot of what was needed in the role. In the meantime, it’s very possible that I missed a candidate that would mesh well with the team, get the job done, and have the drive and desire to be part of our team. In reality, the worst part is that, while this was all happening, I was not being successful myself. I was not leading the way a leader should lead. Instead, I was looking for the easy hire, not necessarily the right hire.

The easy hire might be very tempting. The idea of saving time training and hiring a “plug and play” candidate can seem like a great way to ensure a successful hire. However, while you look for the “perfect candidate” who checks every box, you miss out on crucial planning for the future. If someone already checks every box, where is there room for growth? In order to create long-term employees, you need an environment where people feel both appreciated for their individual contributions for the team, and free to develop those skills.

As I sit down with my clients and determine their needs, I remember that I was once in their shoes and, in that role, I learned the importance of assessing your current team’s skills, personalities, strengths, and contributions both individually and as a team.

In searching for the candidate that checks every box on the job description, you might miss the one that will fill the gaps and integrate seamlessly into your team. So find out what makes your team tick, and start looking for the right hire, rather than the perfect hire.

To contact me or learn more about what our CPG team can do to help you find the right hire, visit the CPG page.

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