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Harry Potter: Tips for Sorting Out Your Candidates

Posted by Greg Rachke on August 1, 2013

So apparently today was Harry Potter’s birthday. Does anyone think we’re getting a little carried away with that? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about the novels and a few of the movies. But it seems a little odd to me that we’re celebrating a fictional characters birthday. 

Regardless, we’re not one for being party poopers. So as a special congratulations to Harry  on his special day, we’re taking it back to where it all began – The Sorting Hat.

If you’re unfamiliar with the film, when Harry and his friends first reached the school, they went through a selection process to see which school they were in. Through the selection process, each student is given the sorting hat that decides which school they will succeed in.

We can learn a little bit from the sorting process, as it symbolizes the hiring process all of us go through today:

Be Open to New Ideas

Your new employees are filled with new and innovative ideas. When going through the selection process, it’s imperative that you explore these new opportunities for your firm. Structuring your interview questions can help you fully understand these ideas, and ultimately will lead to your final hiring decision.

Similarly, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry makes up his own mind as to which school he wishes to be a part of. The Sorting Hat, or in this analogy, You, had made up his mind that Harry would do well in Slytherin. However, as he analyzed Harry and interviewed him more thoroughly, he realized that Harry had the skillset to thrive in both schools.

Thorough Interview Process

A thorough interview process is essential. If you don’t already, consider using background checks to ensure that you don’t make a bad hiring decision. Regardless of the fact that Candidate A knew how to fix your business problem, he may not be the best fit for your team.

Interestingly, the antagonist of the film, Draco Malfoy, was given the least amount of time for evaluation. The Sorting Hat didn’t even touch Malfoy’s head before sending him to the Slytherin house. That’s a perfect example of what not to do, as Malfoy ends up one of the more dangerous characters in the series. Put forth the extra effort to ensure that your hires are safe and quality.

Culture Fit

Hiring for culture fit can be one of the more difficult tasks you will be faced with. Unfortunately, you won’t have a sorting hat to make your decisions for you. But taking a look at the Sorting Hat process can help you.

For instance, when Harry, Ron, and Hermoine all entered the main hall to begin the sorting hat process,  they all hoped to be in the same house. Their personalities fit so well that they wished to work together in the future. The Sorting Hat takes all of that into account when sorting, and so should you.

Had the sorting hat ignored the culture fit of each house, he could have made a huge mistake pairing the antagonist with the protagonist. Harry would not have been able to go on to be one of the greatest wizards (employees) there ever was.

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