The trap of looking for the perfect candidate manifests in a few different ways.
The first manifestation is something I refer to as the Godot Effect, based on Estragon’s line in Waiting for Godot: “Personally, I wouldn’t even know him if I saw him.”
All too often, a prospective hire becomes the repository of every hope and every need of the hiring organization. The fact that the person does not yet exist in the organization only makes this worse. I’ve seen this particular phenomenon happen in front of me more than once. In particular, I was sitting in a product design meeting while the team discussed the next few hires it needed to make.
They started by observing that they needed someone who could handle some specific piece of technology. So far, so good. Then things went downhill. keep reading…