Ten Keys to the Correct Hire

Okay Mr. Employer, you have identified a candidate who has the basics skill set and qualifications you are seeking to hire. Now it’s time to delve a bit deeper. Have you done all the due diligence necessary to insure that this will be a good hire? What else should you look for to help you select the proper candidate?

After a week off on vacation and week off of blogging, this week’s blog will spend some time looking into key areas of concern to make sure that this candidate is the right candidate.

1) Problem Solving Skills
Let’s face it, no matter what the job title says, problem solving is a key role of every position. You need players who can adapt on the fly to the constantly changing parameters and challenges of customer needs, competitors practices or organizational changes. Those who are resistant or slow to react will keep you from achieving your goals.

Ask candidates to identify specific situations of how they solved a work-related challenge. Allow them to explain the details of their response to a crisis and how their response assisted the organization they were working for.

2) Overall Contribution
Plain and simple, you hire employees to increase revenues or to decrease costs. Identify the metrics which you will use to determine success of the employee. This is easier for some positions than others, but, it can be done for all positions.

Once you have the metrics in place, do your best to select a candidate who has produced similar results. Ask the candidates to explain the metrics for which they were measured in previous roles. If they weren’t measured by their supervisor, it is a great indicator of their self awareness and motivation to see if they measured their own success.

3) Previous Work History
Few organizations have the luxury of comprehensive training programs. For this reason, make sure candidates have enough relevant work experience for your position so that they can hit the ground with a running start. Transitioning from similar size organizations and similar cultures will increase the likelihood of success.

Ask candidates to describe the kind of atmosphere in which they do best. Ask them to go beyond generic descriptions such as “it was a team environment” in order to really determine the culture they worked in and whether they will fit into your environment.

4) Enthusiasm and Motivation
Those with sincere drive and initiative will quickly rise to the top of your team. Generally, these individual raise the level of play of those around them making all the members of your team better.

Ask each candidate what motivates them; you might be surprised by some answers. It is desirable for your team members to be motivated by differing elements. Some seek external gratification such as peer recognition or compensation. Others are driven by family motivation or internal fulfillment. Enthusiasm is contagious. Make sure your team has it.

Ask candidates to tell you about a time when they went above and beyond the minimum requirements of their job and make sure to ask what reward they find the most gratifying.

5) Ability to Work as an Individual and on a Team
You are looking for candidates who are able to self motivate and produce on their own as well as being successful working in tandem. We all have experienced the loner at work, as well as someone who cannot get anything done without the help of co-workers. Seek those who have the ability to do both.

Ask which way they prefer to work – alone or as part of a group. Lean towards those who are comfortable in both settings, or at least make sure that your total team has an balance of both.

6) Jugglers
In this day and age when everyone is required to do more with less, target candidates who are eager to learn new things and enjoy variety in the work they perform. Chances are they ambitious and inquisitive. These two qualities generally rank high among successful individuals. Multi-tasking is essential.

Make sure to ask the candidate to cite examples of effectively managing a variety of tasks simultaneously.

7) Cultural Fit
First, make sure you have an accurate perception of the culture of your organization. Then seek to determine if this candidate is an automatic fit, or has the ability to adapt quickly.

Have the candidate describe the ideal cultural fit for them; for example “a company that offers work-life balance” or “a team oriented atmosphere”. Ask them to explain and expand on how they would specifically measure that. These terms can mean completely different things from one person to the next.

8) Professional Resume
This is a candidate’s personal brochure and marketing plan. It is a reflection of that individual and it will tell you much more about them then their work history. In my years of recruiting I have found a correlation between the quality of the person and the quality of the resume.

Those who take the time and effort to research, format, and style their resume to convey its intended message will also likely invest the same pride in the work they do on your behalf.

9) Internet Identity
Aside from the background checks and skills testing you may perform on a potential candidate, also take the time to check the social networking sites. You can learn a lot to confirm or deny your instincts about the candidate by what their Facebook picture shows or what they last tweeted.

10) Staying power
If you are investing the resources to successfully hire and on-board candidates from outside your organization make sure they are interested in staying long enough to make it worth your investment in them. Determine their short and long-term career path goals.

Make sure they ask questions during the interview that demonstrate an interest in growing with the company and that their goals are compatible with advancement opportunities in your organization. You do not want them to feel boxed in after a relatively short period of time and then likely to look elsewhere for growth.

Enjoy!
David Lammert

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