Playing with the Bumpers Up



You have seen them. Bumpers stop bowling balls from taking a trip down the gutter.

Pins are knocked down. Scores are recorded.

But those scores are inflated, not entirely real.

I have noticed something similar in business, specifically in the hiring process.

The position is vacant. The field of candidates is narrowed. You want to fill this position.

The questions get harder. You dig a little deeper. You want the right person: the right fit.

Suddenly, the bumpers appear.

“I think the candidates will struggle with that question, what if we soften it, or explain it a little more?”

“Why don’t we go easy on them, help them relax, that way they will be successful?”

Maybe it is the thought of having to start over, re-advertise, and try again. Maybe you have to admit to your boss, or their bosses that it didn’t work out. Maybe an unsuccessful process will reflect poorly on you.

The pressure to fill the position becomes stronger than filling it well.

The real problem with bumpers is they mask the downside risk. Bowling with bumpers is all upside. You knock down pins. You are invincible. Your scores are amazing!

Bumpers are okay if you are new and need some practice. But when the real game, the hiring process is being played, you need play with both upside and downside risk.

Once the process is over, the bumpers come down anyway. They will be in your organization and will bring both the upside and the downside.

The next time you are hiring or interviewing, look around to see if you are playing with the bumpers up.



About Carl Weber

Carl Weber, is the owner and founder of Carl Weber Consulting, a consulting group that helps businesses, non-profits, and individuals understand themselves, hire and manage well, and become great leaders. Carl worked in local government for more than ten years, as the Town Administrator of a few towns in NH. Once upon a time he was a search and rescue swimmer for the US Navy. Carl holds Bachelors’ Degrees in Political Science & Community Development and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy. Carl is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Motivators Analyst (CPMA). Carl regularly teaches on human factors and the relationship of behavior and leadership styles, as well as motivation, coaching, leadership challenges, and failing as a leader. His passion is to help leaders in their lifelong journey to finish well, to combat and work with their inner voice, and to live a meaningful story worth reading. Carl lives in Southern New Hampshire with his wife Amanda and together they are raising a small tribe of four young (somewhat crazy) women with the goal of unleashing them on the world to change it for the better.
This entry was posted in Hiring Well, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Playing with the Bumpers Up

  1. muddybride1 says:

    “The pressure to fill the position becomes stronger than filling it well.” Great line. I wonder how often we do that with decisions about our personal journeys, too. Thanks for the post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s