Most of Australia was certain of an Australian Labor Party (ALP) win on 18 May 2019 in the Australian Federal election. Sportsbet paid out AUD1.3 million early to punters who had backed the ALP and all the major pollsters had the ALP winning 51.7 to 48.3 in a two-party preferred basis. The upset was huge, and the ALP had to search for a new leader after Bill Shorten stood down.
On a much smaller scale, there are clear parallels to recruitment.
Such as when a placement falls through at the last minute, usually as a result of a successful candidate changing their mind. This results in surprise, pain and confusion to both the recruiter and the hiring manager.
A lot of the time, surprises like this come down to simply asking the right questions throughout the interview process. It can be common for recruiters to get caught up in the excitement of moving through to the final interview and references and forget that most job seekers won’t tell us anything else that’s going on, if we don’t ask them directly.
Ross Clennett writes about the above in more detail here. Although as recruiters, we may not want to hear if a job seeker has doubts, it’s always better to ask and if you find out earlier in the process, you might even be able to turn them around!
Looking back to the election, both the ALP party and the pollsters, were asking the wrong people, the wrong questions. It was a surprise that could have been avoided if the correct pressure testing of public sentiment was conducted and certainly a huge lesson for the political class and researchers.