April 21, 2016
Candidate references Praice

How many references do you need when making a hire?

The answer is simple: “You can never have too many”.

by Christian Høeg

Whether you have ever made a hire or not, you probably know the feeling of making a confident decision. Your level of confidence is usually higher when other people concur with your decision. It simply feels better when a lot of people agree with you rather than depending solely on your own intuition.

And it makes perfect sense, too. Every statistic would agree that if more people say A over B, the greater the chance is that A is correct.

What makes a good decision?

In an interview, Steve Jobs said after realizing he had cancer: “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

It often takes a lot of time to make good decisions. Especially in relations to hires, choosing between potential candidates can be quite time-consuming. Because the clock is ticking, we usually only read about two or three references on selected candidates.

But what if we could get access to references earlier in the recruitment process and still get the same or a better output – without spending any excessive time? Would we make use of it? Well, science says we should, because the more the better.

Let me give you an example:

Say Carl is described as empathic and this description coincides with your perception of Carl – either after having read about him or met him in person.

Now, are you 100% convinced that Carl is empathic?

Let’s say that you ask ten people who know Carl through their line of work, and 80% say that Carl is empathic.

Are you 100% convinced now?

Probably more convinced than before. Right?

Now, let’s assume that you ask five of Carl’s friends, colleagues, and family members, and 80% of them also say that Carl is, indeed, an empathic young man.

You are probably feeling more or less convinced as the percentage of agreement is rising. This is because as more people confirm on the same notions, the end result tends to be more convincing, too. And the more diverse the group of respondents is, the more versatile the perception of another person will be, allowing us to safely assume that Carl is empathetic.

The point is simple: Asking the many from various relations should in any instance give you a better direction about someone – and the ability to make a more qualified decision. In your personal life and in recruitment situations.

So what are you waiting for?

Oh yes… you don’t have the time to ask the many. Well, that’s why Praice is here to help you.

How? Check it out: business.praice.com.

And remember: “There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice” – Simon Sinek.

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