How Recruiters Can Deal with Super Egos

Posted by Bond Team | June 16, 2015 |

shutterstock_141917947-200The recruiting industry is experiencing a continued, growing demand for contingent workers and niche talent – great!

However, when in-demand, top talent know they’re highly sought after, normal egos can sometimes mutate into villainous “Super Egos” that can be – despite their value – a pain to work with.

In today’s competitive recruiting industry, candidates have the power. You may interview super egos more frequently now than in the past, when employment rates were lower than today. If you’re not sure how to best approach super egos to place confident talent, here’s some kryptonite – a.k.a recruiting strategies – from the pros. Use these recruiting strategies to weed out arrogant villains, pinpoint confident candidates and place the right talent with the right company.


Differentiate Between Confidence and Conceit

Our first recruiting strategy is to determine whether your potential candidate has a healthy level of confidence or is conceited. Being confident is a positive trait, while having a poisonous super ego is not. Sharlyn Lauby, author and president of ITM Group Inc., says that if a candidate can back up the hype, a super ego doesn’t have to be a negative.

“I’ve known people with super egos who also know how to effectively work within structure and bureaucracy,” says Lauby. “And I’ve known some super egos that leave body bags along the way. Recruiters need to figure out which one they’re dealing with.”

As a recruiter, you’re used to working with top talent, including candidates who are self-assured. Discern whether a candidate’s work history includes successes to back up their confidence, or whether you are simply dealing with an individual who’s arrogant.

Follow in the footsteps of Netflix – a company known for recruiting top-performing talent effectively. For the whole story, request a download of How Recruiting Stole the Show at Netflix.

Listen for Accountability

Our next recruiting strategy is weeding out super egos who lack accountability and blame others for their mistakes. The senior vice president of people operations at Google, Laszlo Bock, says in an interview that the Google hiring team looks for people who have both confidence and humility. Super egos may suffer from a lack of accountability, which is harmful to the team and the company.

Bock says that some super egos believe “If something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius…. If something bad happens, it’s because someone’s an idiot or I didn’t get the resources …”

Ask super egos about how they’ve handled obstacles and failures in the past to listen for whether they hold themselves accountable or play the blame game.Recruiting Strategies to Handle Super Egos

Pinpoint Company Culture

The next recruiting strategy is to determine how your super ego talent would mesh with the company culture and environment of the department.

“Let’s say the candidate has skills galore and they know it,” says Lauby. “Now it’s time to ask the candidate how they work within the corporate culture.”

Is the job order for a sales team full of intense, competitive, confident people? Your super ego might fit right in. Or is your job order for a manager within a collaborative environment? A super ego who claims all of the credit for team success will likely cause resentment among the team.

Tip: When your staffing software alerts you about a new job order, consider the culture of the company and match that immediately to the candidates you’ve been wooing to place the right talent.

Remain Neutral

In order to not feel offended by a super ego candidate, remain neutral in your demeanor. When candidates know they’re in demand, they’re going to feel more confident and possibly be more demanding. On the other hand, some super egos may actually be hiding feelings of insecurity. Stay calm and notice their body language to see what they’re really saying, both verbal and non-verbal.

The recruiting industry is increasingly competitive. Some candidate’s healthy confidence may transform into super-sized egos. Use recruiting strategies to determine if they’re confident, not conceited; whether the candidate will fit within the company culture and team; if they hold themselves accountable and stay neutral. Don’t automatically feel affronted by super egos. They’re not all villains; some are heroes who possess well deserved, extra confidence.

For more recruiting strategies, including how to pinpoint top performers, read the whitepaper, How Recruiting Stole the Show at Netflix.

Category: Recruiting

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