Fast Company

What An Alpha-Baffoon Taught Me About How We Look At Talent . . .

I met with an interesting candidate yesterday - let's call him an Alpha Baffoon. When sitting down for lunch, he threw his folder on the table from 3 ft out, making a loud "thud" . . . which was an instant red flag. At a later point, he berated a waitress because his food wasn't "up to par." The other interesting form of body language was him stretching in such a way as to claustrophobically impend on surrounding patrons . . . and it was obvious he enjoyed barreling through the crowds like a Berzerker on methamphetamines.

Now that I've painted a picture in your mind, let's consider our own psychology for a moment: As a Third-party Recruiter (or even an Internal Recruiter), should I disqualify a candidate because I get a laugh when observing Alpha-Baffoons? Is my ego so big that I would potentially jeopardize a client's performance because my personality type doesn't play well with Bullys'?

Let's face it: There are Alpha-Baffoon Hiring Managers out there that would see "fit" of a mini Alpha-Baffoon favorably. Furthermore, Alpha-Baffoon Hiring Managers don't like Beta-Baffoons; they see them as 'weak-minded'. In actuality, an Alpha-Baffoon HM looks more favorably on a mini Alpha-Baffoon (read: 'Mini' in this case means younger or physically smaller - yes, I've seen Alpha-Baffoons HMs' pass over Alpha-Baffoon candidates because they feel physically threatened the Alpha-Baffoon candidate.) Why? Well, with Alpha-Baffoons comes the understanding that the group may coalesce into a huge Battle-Royale cage match from time to time . . . it's just how Alpha-Baffoons play the game. In fact, this testosterone-enraged frenzy into chaos is a trait seen as a "right of passage" into Alpha-Baffoondom.

And in that sense, is it really up to recruiters (internal and external) to natural order of such male behavior? Are we now the police?

In that sense, let me ask the tougher question: How many recruiters have you seen "flex their muscles" due to "lack of fit"? . . . thereby lubricating themselves in the endorphin-releasing 'power' that comes with having a badge and a gun. Really think about it for a minute: I have seen, on many ocassions, Recruiters (internal and external) object to "fit" . . . when "fit" is more about their own psychology than it is what is truly best for the organization.

Perhaps something to think about on this wonderful Wednesday morning in 2008 . . .

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