CHAPTER NINEPRINCIPLE 2: Expanding the Archetype of the Ideal Candidate

The second Pomegranate Principle is to expand the archetype of a successful candidate. One thing I see a lot of is companies and organizations getting into trouble when hiring managers start thinking, “I know who this person is,” as they consider the ideal profile for a role. Many times, hiring managers base that conclusion on assumptions about what worked with a previous executive who served in that role.

For example, in an executive search, a hiring manager will try to maximize the chances of hiring the right candidate by noting that a particular candidate has industry experience, or that they are at a certain seniority level, or maybe they live in the same geography as the hiring company. The hiring manager will draw conclusions about a person based on the school they graduated from. I have had clients say to me, “Oh, I know who this person is. They went to Stanford, then to Cal Tech and they probably worked in the Bay Area for five different tech companies. They are ready to now lead this function.” How do you know that candidate is the right person? You don't know, you can't possibly know the person by a quick review of a résumé. What you have done is articulate what makes you comfortable in making the selection, but there is no guarantee that the person you have selected will work out. They just fit an archetype that makes you feel comfortable.

I am not saying that this initial framing of a candidate ...

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