Hiring Manager Explains Why Companies Purposely Don't Pick The Best Candidate

Mason Joseph Zimmer
woman in glasses and purple hair looks off to the side in TikTok video
TikTok | @rulewithruna

A hiring manager recently explained to her TikTok followers what companies are really looking for in work interviews and the answer should give anyone who thinks it's a meritocracy out there pause.

One of the most valuable things we can get for free is the inside scoop on how the job market works from people who know what they're talking about. Because while facts about certain industries can be useful to know as a consumer, certain information can become relevant to almost anyone when it applies to the world of work at large.

So sometimes, we'll see career coaches and other industry experts spread their knowledge via TikTok, which then prevents as many people as possible from stumbling into the career pitfalls that ensnare people every day.

And while the words of one job recruiter can certainly be taken that way, they can also be interpreted as an indictment of the system of large and might even provide some consolation for those who didn't get their dream job.

On May 30, a hiring manager named Runa uploaded a TikTok as part of her mission to offer small business and career advice to her followers.

job recruiter with glasses and purple hair pointing upwards
TikTok | @rulewithruna

And in this video, she said that despite what we're often told, large companies don't often see it as in their best interests to hire the most qualified and skilled candidates.

Although Runa was quick to clarify in a comment on her video that there are certainly recruiters who are looking for these kinds of candidates, there's a reason why you're more likely to meet those who aren't when the company is big enough.

Namely, that there's rarely any incentive for hiring managers to do so.

woman in glasses and purple hair looks off to the side in TikTok video
TikTok | @rulewithruna

As Runa said, "They don't get paid more because you performed outstandingly, like you're the first in your team."

However, she said recruiters do get penalized if the people they recommend either quit before the company truly benefits from their labor or disobey the company's management.

And as she saw it, it's often the most intelligent candidates with the most experience who are the most likely to do either of these things.

job recruiter with glasses and purple hair tapping her head with her finger
TikTok | @rulewithruna

After all, they know what that experience is worth and obviously see little reason not to take better opportunities when they can find them. And many of us can recall working for someone who had the power to tell us what to do even when their ideas were worse than ours.

So instead of candidates who might be mindful of these considerations, Runa said corporations want employees who carry the fewest risks in either category.

Moreover, she said that we can see those priorities in the interview questions that tend to come from these organizations.

For instance, she said that questions about why you left your previous employer are supposed to gauge your risk of leaving again, while the "what is your biggest weakness" question is supposed to measure how much damage your mistakes are capable of doing.

As she put it, "It's really all psychology."

By contrast, a follow-up video she released on June 6 argued that start-ups are more likely to actually hunt for the most qualified candidates because they need them more.