Tuesday, October 3, 2017

When You Say Nothing At All

First Impressions Last.

Do they?

There are studies that support that saying and like it or not, there really is a huge truth to it. Humans operate around their senses the most dominant of which is the sense of sight. Our brain processes everything we see. Past experiences, our external environment and our learning add up to the conclusion we make about our visual experiences.

Before I entered the corporate world of Human resources, I did not care much about what people looked like. I was always more interested in the 'who' of a person. Although I am still more of that kind of person, I must admit that when my 'recruiter' hat was put to a good use, I was never able to ignore those first 30 seconds upon meeting a person for the first time.

When you embrace the life of a corporate recruiter, you slowly understand the weight on your shoulders. The initial screening and interview you conduct can very much shape the future of the applicant AND the company you are recruiting for. Each company has a formal job description per position which states the basic qualifications required for the job. There are however also certain unspoken and unwritten requirements only the recruiter knows and thus looks for when profiling the candidates for the job. Put together, these paint the whole picture and serves as a guide as to who 'should' be the perfect fit.

As soon as an applicant walks in that door, immediately I look at what the applicant is wearing, what the applicant is holding (sometimes it's an envelope or sometimes a cellphone and sometimes nothing at all), how the applicant walks, if the applicant is smiling or not, how the applicant carries his or herself, etc. And I always come to a premature conclusion about the applicant. As soon as I call in an applicant inside the interview room that is the only time I get to verify and conclude whether my initial assumptions were right or wrong, true or false.

However, much as I would want to say that first impressions do not last, they really do. After thorough questioning and 'getting to know' it always seems that whatever pre interview notions were made often times hold true. Non verbal communication can say so much more than what can be explicitly expressed.

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