Some people tend to have a negative view of the “who you know/knows you” reality of the world. But it’s not about doing ‘favors’ for your buddies…it’s about using all the information you can get your hands on when hiring.
For example, imagine you are shopping for a new kitchen appliance and trying to decide between a few different models. You will likely:
- Look at customer reviews
- Listen to referrals from people you know and trust who have experience with one of the products
- Try it out yourself in the store
- Tap into your previous experience with this product/manufacturer
- Compare product spec sheets
All of these factors come into a decision; so why would anyone think that in the case of hiring a new employee, you should limit yourself to # 5 – and doing any of the others amounts to ‘favoritism’ or other nefarious motives? One could even argue that # 2 is the most important out of all the factors going into the decision.
We all tend to highly value recommendations from people we know and trust if they have experience with something we don’t.
Hiring is not a ‘special case’
That list above translates to this in terms of selecting candidates for a postion:
- Background check with past employers
- Referrals from someone the hiring manager knows and trusts
- Interview candidates
- Hiring manager has direct experience with a candidate in some way
The resume or CV is important, but it doesn’t even make up a majority of the decision. In the big picture, your ‘spec sheet’ on paper is going to be10-20% of the decision. It’s mostly to ensure the minimum specifications are being met.
And this is why I focus on the whole process, not just the resume/CV.