Are you checking candidates' references? Here's why you should.
(bright music) - When you're hiring somebody, it's sort of a courtship, right? And you go through this process and you really want to like the person, and you look at their experience, and you're making assessments about what can I coach into them? What are they good at? Can they hit the ground running? How much training? But sometimes you don't focus enough on IQ. Okay, because smartness matters so much. The team that has very smart people today really matters.
It used to be being competent and educated was enough, but now winning is about great ideas. Not just one great idea, but a great idea every week. And so sometimes I think, well, this person can do the job. And we don't step back and ask this very hard question. We probably wouldn't want this question asked about us, which is, is this person smart enough? Can they grow? Because they are so smart they can keep on changing and be flexible. It is so hard to call people's references that no one does it. It's awkward. You think you're not going to get the true story. You've decided on the person, you don't want to hear otherwise, and you don't check their references.
And then when you do check their references, you don't really listen. You hold the phone out here. In our own company, somebody just moved on. She went to another company, and there I was on the resume with my phone number and everything available, and nobody called me to check her references. Now, I would've given her a good reference, but it blew my mind that I wasn't called. You have to do that. And so hiring blind spots sometimes occur because we do not have the time or the guts or the sort of ability to deal with the awkwardness of calling somebody's former boss and saying, "Can you tell me what I need to know about this person, "even what I don't want to hear?" (bright music)