family office recruitment London

Interviewing in Family Office Recruitment

I came across thought provoking article:  “Scrap the Job Interview” in “MoneyWeek” (18/11/16) recently – relevant for those recruiting in a family office context. I agree with some points – in particular assessing an individual on hard facts and demonstrable achievements rather than being overly influenced by a great interview style. However, for family offices, personality is key and one cannot draw such a stark distinction.

Each family office has their own idiosyncrasies but generally they tend to be small in size so a candidate’s personality is crucial in assessing his or her “fit” for the office dynamic. Moreover, if the individual has significant contact with the Principal and family then again the candidate’s personal characteristics will be crucial in determining whether the hire is a success or not.

Article reproduced below with kind permission from MoneyWeek (and the original author Cass Sunstein on

“Employers, like most people, tend to trust their intuitions. But when it comes to deciding who to hire, that could be a big mistake, say Cass Sunstein on Studies show that aptitude tests are highly predictive of good subsequent performance on the job, and general intelligence tests are almost as good, but that employers stubbornly trust their feelings instead.

They might, for example, interview two candidates, one of whom was the clear winner in aptitude tests, but is awkward and reserved, and another who was dynamic, engaging and likeable, but performed poorly. It’s natural but wrong to go for the latter. Other evidence suggests that interviews are worse than wasteful. By drawing attention to irrelevant information, they produce inferior decisions. Interviewers work hard to delude themselves. If you are impressed by a likeable candidate, you will be inclined to assess his or her answers, whatever they are, in a way that fits with that initial impression. That can perpetuate injustices: if the interviewer is prejudiced against women or Hispanics, for example, a face-to-face interview will predictably result in discrimination. In a way, reliance instead on tests or actual or past performance can promote equality.

For business, the lesson is clear: rely on more objective information and far less on interviews. It might even want to think about scaling back or cancelling interviews altogether. That’ll save a lot of time – and lead to better decisions.”

This article is written by Paul Avon who is a Director of True House Partners – specialists in recruitment for Family Offices (both single and multi) in London, mainland UK and Europe as well as jurisdictions such as Channel Islands (Jersey & Guernsey), Isle of Man, Bermuda, the Caribbean (British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Bahamas). Mauritius, Seychelles and the Middle East (with a particular emphasis on United Arab Emirates) and the Far East including Singapore & Hong Kong. For more information, please call +44 (0)20 7846 0025 or website: