I’m not sure if I want to employ an Eeyore or a Tigger?
One of my clients is going to have the biggest head ever as this is the second blog that he has inspired me to write! (please refer to a blog called “I don’t need a good candidate, have you got any OK candidates?”) My client who has also been a candidate of mine, who I have known for quite a few years now, is incredibly down to earth and the conversations we have are very honest and direct, my type of person! And this blog has taken about a year to write which is quite unlike me, I knew I wanted to write about it, I just didn’t know what to say until now.
Eeyore – a character who could be described as pessimistic, gloomy and a bit of a plodder.
Tigger – a character who is energetic, bubbly, cheerful and maybe even competitive but in a friendly way.
So, I when I submitted a candidate for a senior role he was recruiting (not an OK candidate as the OK candidate was for a much more junior role!) I submitted a couple of candidates whose experiences were very similar, but their personalities were complete opposite. After first round of interviews we had a debrief and that is when he said “One candidate is like Tigger, the other is like Eeyore. And I can’t decide if I want a Tigger or an Eeyore working for me”.
And that got me thinking, do we stereotype different people into different roles within a business? Do we expect someone in Sales to be a Tigger? Or does it depend on the culture of the business? I look back to my time in food and which roles would suit an Eeyore type person? Because let’s face it, we can’t have a business full of Tigger’s or a business full of Eeyore’s, can you imagine the carnage versus the big black cloud of doom? And people should be themselves in whatever they do, when you work 8 hours a day (plus a lot more for most of us!) how can you fake anything for that long? Sticking with the stereotypes, customer facing roles tend to have the more Tigger people so therefore do roles that are behind computers or laboratory equipment tend to have Eeyore’s? But you can’t employ someone just for their personality? So how do you differentiate the ability to do the job from just an interview? Is that where presentations during an interview process come in? Or how about psychometric tests? Myers Briggs? McQuaig? Should these be included to help make the decision? Or do you just go with your gut instinct? Because if 2 candidates can do the job in equal measures, what tips the decision one way or another? Getting other employees involved at interview stages is a great way of seeing how people interact as well as having someone to bounce ideas off when discussing feedback. And some companies do a full day for an Assessment Centre to see how people interact, how they cope under pressure as well as where they excel. Personally I don’t like this type of recruitment. I once went through a whole day for a well known chocolate manufacturer where I had to do an exam, 3 interviews and a role play. Did I get the job? No. And I’m guessing it was because that’s not how I best perform. I perform at my best when I’m being me, in a very real life situation. Did I get a whole bag of chocolate as commiseration? I did but the greatest “thank goodness I didn’t get that job” was 9 months later when I read in The Grocer that the company had lost the account to a competitor because I couldn’t have faced job hunting again so soon.
From a recruitment perspective, I like to think I have great rapport with the majority of my candidates and when I don’t, I sometimes have to take a step back and wonder why. Does my gut say they’re not great? Or do some people just not need to chat to a recruiter about stuff other than work and career? So how do I make that judgement? If they have all the skills for the job then simply it is not my place to judge the personality. I can give my client insight into how they interacted, describe them as “quiet and measured” rather than “bubbly & outgoing” but as for judging whether you’d want to employ a Tigger or an Eeyore, I’m very grateful I don’t have to make that decision.
So in answer to the question, Eeyore or Tigger……let’s stay away from jokes about other characters in the brilliantly written children’s stories and think about this…
Piglet: “The things that make me different are the things that make me.” —Winnie-the-Pooh
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