Finding the Right Person for the Job
Filed under: Employee Retention, Job Application, Job Candidates, Job Interview Tips, Recruiting, RPO, Staffing
You’re interviewing job candidate #8. He’s blathering on about his experiences and education, and you’re waiting for that spark of revelation. That instinctive, gut feeling that this will be the right person for the job. It didn’t happen with candidates 1-7. And #8 isn’t looking too promising either. Is there a better way? You bet.
Too often, interviewers rely on gut feelings or instincts to make hiring decisions. The problem is that gut feelings can be wrong. Disastrously so. You might end up with someone who looks good and sounds good, but isn’t a team player or doesn’t perform well in the trenches.
The solution? Base your evaluation on facts. Here are five rock-solid tips to get you started:
- Know the Basic Requirements—What skills are absolutely essential to the position? No matter how good a candidate sounds, if he doesn’t have the basic requirements, you’ll have to invest too much into training with no guarantee that he’ll be able to learn what you need him to know.
- Evaluate Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills—Hard skills are the ones you learn in school: the book knowledge it takes to be an accountant or lawyer or physicist. Soft skills are the ones you learn from experience: how to interact with the client, how to read customers, and how to close the deal. Focus on the hard skills first. No matter how brilliant a candidate is, he won’t be a good match if he didn’t have the drive to finish school.
- Evaluate Results, Not Just Experience—As you’re scanning resumes, look for qualifications that show results, not just experience. For example, developing new IT software that resulted in 20% online growth says more about the candidate than just having experience in IT development.
- Focus on Quality, Not Just a Good Sales Pitch—The interview process is somewhat skewed toward extroverts. People who know how to sell themselves and effortlessly engage in conversation may appear to be a better fit, but may not ultimately be as qualified as a less verbal candidate. You can draw out the cream of the crop by creating sample scenarios and asking the candidate how he would act.
- Get Input From Others—After you’ve narrowed down your field of candidates, ask others in your organization to look over the top ten or twelve resumes and provide feedback. You can also introduce the candidate to team members and superiors after the interview and ask for their impressions.
It’s true that sometimes when you’re making the final call on a hiring decision, you have to go with your gut. But don’t let that become your modus operandi. Choose your candidates based on hard facts and input from your team, and you’ll be in the best position to find the right person for every job opening.