HGTV makes me think that hiring is like buying a house

Written by LauraRenner Published in

Thought Leader Blog

Let me start this week’s blog by saying I don’t have a TV. That doesn’t mean I don’t watch TV. I watch TV via my laptop or iPad through iTunes, Netflix, apps and DVDs, etc. Those of you in this situation will understand what I’m about to say: when I go somewhere that has a TV on, I become a zombie and soak in whatever is on, whether I am interested in it or not. That is what happened one weekend when I was visiting family. They had the TV on to the HGTV channel. I happened to sit down on the couch and the next thing I knew, I was mesmerized by these people looking for new homes. One was a young woman wanting to move out of her parents’ house. Another was a couple wanting to buy a vacation condo in Florida. And one was a father wanting to move to his ancestral homeland of Lithuania. I couldn’t peel away. My sister-in-law even nudged me, suggesting that I could change the channel to whatever I wanted. Mind you, they weren’t watching with me; they were off doing other things. I was glued!

What makes this phenomenon even more fascinating (to me anyways) is that I don’t own a home and I never have. I’ve started to look around every once in awhile but I’ve never gotten serious about it. Even so, I couldn’t turn away from these shows. While watching these shows—and forgive me, I don’t remember the names of them—I couldn’t help but notice that what these house hunters were going through is a little similar to hiring.

Here are 3 ways in which they are similar:

1. Each show started off with why they were looking to buy. Hiring is a big deal. It’s a huge commitment and investment, much like buying a house. In order to accept that you need to and are ready to hire, you first articulate why you need to hire. Reasons include: I can’t continue to do this all by myself, we are growing fast, or current employee X isn’t working out. Each house hunter had a reason for buying a new place: the young college grad wanted to get out of her parents’ home, the couple visited that area of Florida often enough, the father had recently lost members of his family and wanted to reconnect with his ancestry.

2. Each house hunter described what they were looking for in their new homes. They explained location, size, amenities, and price desires. They had in mind what they were looking for before they started looking. When it comes to hiring, you need to know what kind of person would fit well on your team before you start looking. Everyone’s own experiences, educational backgrounds and upbringings affect how they approach their work. You need to know what approach would work best for you and your team.

3. After they viewed each home and before they made their decisions, the house hunters evaluated each home based on the criteria they outlined in the beginning of the show. Based on these evaluations, they made their decision. This is exactly what we do when it comes to hiring. I am a data person though. It made me cringe a little that the house hunters hadn’t written down their criteria and included weights. There was no checklist they used as they evaluated each house. This makes me cringe because, as humans, we see what we want to see. Writing the criteria down, weighing them and then evaluating candidates against them helps us to see past what we only want to see.

Now, I would say there is one big difference between these shows and hiring. Miraculously, after only viewing 3 homes, each house hunter made a decision. I realize that is for the sake of the TV show. In hiring, sometimes it takes more than 3 candidates. Sometimes you have to walk away from it for a while because you just aren’t finding the right person. You have to be careful you aren’t settling for someone for the wrong reasons. If you’ve purchased a home before, what thought process did you go through and how you can apply that to hiring?



Thought Leader, Laura Renner, helps business owners make smart hiring decisions by getting them to hire with intention. She works with businesses on developing their hiring strategies and systematizing their hiring processes. Laura believes that surrounding yourself with people who are going to make you better is the only way to ensure you're maximizing your life.

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