Recruiting a Treasurer and The First Impression - Trap
They still exist, the hiring managers who totally rely on their first impressions. “At handshake I already know if it is a good candidate”. I am no Don Quichote but will continue my battle against this statement. Not only because we are not allowed anymore to shake hands due to covid-19. This statement radiates being impolite, dumb, not showing an interest in who you work with and wasting time. I found new inspiration in this article of recruitment guru Lou Adler.
I will let you read the whole article by yourself but elements I took is that preparing for an interview with a potential successful hire should include assessment of abilities (soft, hard and other skills), the fit (with the culture, colleagues and manager) and of course motivation (in doing the job, not landing it). He further describes that content driven interviewers (techies) tend to focus too much on abilities and the first-impression-interviewers do not control their “stupid switch”. I will not do a comprehensive analysis but want to put your attention on the following two aspects:
- First, in my perception many in the current corporate treasury population can be described as highly skilled. They did well at university, got high grades and enjoy the analytical. The ones that have an above average impact, the ones that go up the ladder in treasury but also other functions, did well because they were a good fit. They understood colleagues and were able to get their point across. They bridged the gap between treasury and the rest of their organisation. As many hiring managers are treasury-techies, I would like to invite them to increase their attention to the fit. It could make your team so much better.
- Second, I see bad recruitment decisions based upon the stupid switch in organisations where hiring managers do not understand the importance of treasury. Hiring managers who do not spend (a lot of) time with the person they recruit. Hiring managers who are included in the process because “somebody has to interview the candidate and has to make the decision”. I do understand that decision makers have to be included but perhaps they are better informed with CVs or assessment reports. Also there is a task for us, the treasury community, in showing how important the job should be. Spread the word!
Let me finish up with emphasizing that the interview is only one of many components of a good recruitment process. CV screening, references, assessments and a cover letter all bring information that can be the foundation of a good recruitment decision. We like to use the Treasurer Test in our recruitment. In the article Lou Adler describes not only the theory but also helps you, with practical steps, professionalising your recruitment.
Do you know people who cannot switch of the “stupid switch”? What do you see? I look forward to your input,