What Yoda can teach us about hiring…

Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time, and Yoda is one of my favorite characters.

“Do or do not. There is no try”, his legendary statement to Luke Skywalker when Luke attempts to lift his X Wing fighter out of the swamp using “the force”, has resonated with me for years.

When Luke first visits Dagobah and encounters Yoda, he simply can’t imagine that Yoda is a Jedi Master.  Moreover, he thinks he’s just an annoying swamp creature.

You can’t really blame him – in their initial encounter, Luke first quips “this is a strange place to find a Jedi Master” and “this place gives me the creeps”.

A seemingly harmless stranger, Yoda asks “Why are you here?”.

Luke says “I’m looking for someone” to which Yoda replies “Looking…  found someone you have, I would say, hmm?” and tells Luke that he can help him.

Luke says, “I don’t think so – I’m looking for a great warrior”.

After a scene reminiscent of a teenage tussle for some food and a flashlight, Luke finds it incredulous that Yoda would know where to find a great Jedi Master.

Yoda invites Luke to his home, revealing who he is by speaking with the ghostly voice of Obi One Kanobi when he says, “I cannot teach this boy, he has no patience”.  Of course, Luke spends the rest of the scene eating crow and stating he is ready to become a Jedi Knight.

As humans, we make assumptions every day.

While assumptions can be useful in certain situations, have you ever made an assumption about a candidate you interviewed only to “eat crow” later on?

If you haven’t yet, you will.

Recruitment industry pundit, Lou Adler says we should train ourselves not to make any assumptions about candidates until 30 minutes into the interview process.

In other words, we need to spend 30 minutes of unbiased time with someone to start to get the “gist”.

One article I read about hiring assumptions states “Hiring is very easy to do badly, and very hard to do well. So, what causes most failures?

It’s easy to see what’s in front of you, but hard to see what’s not in front of you.

Let me repeat that “It’s easy to see what’s in front of you, but hard to see what’s not in front of you.”

Hiring only becomes predictable when you train yourself to look beyond the obvious.”

Another article states: “Employers should consider these four simple assumptions:

  • Can the applicant do the job?
  • Do I like the candidate?
  • What are the risks associated with this applicant? And,
  • Can we come to an agreement for compensation?”

So, let’s leverage this wisdom to look beyond our initial reactions to small, green creatures or anyone else…

After all, you may just find a Jedi Master for your business!