Every company wants to hire the right person for the right job. AND, they want the very best talent available they can afford. Why approach it any differently?
There are clear examples of companies who do a better job interviewing and hiring than others. Can their success be replicated? We think so; and offer five insights to help you achieve a better hiring outcome.
First – Conduct a Purposeful Interview. So, what does that mean? It means the interview style and content must be more than just a historical review of someone’s background, and the skills they say the possess. Those basic bases must be covered, but that is not be the where the bulk of the interview should be conducted.
Ask questions that require the candidate to engage in critical thinking skills, rather than just reviewing past tasks performed. However, recognize a Level 1 Service Desk candidate will not respond with the same level of articulation or thought you would expect from a Service Desk Manager candidate. For example: Look for responses that provide examples of problem solving skills applied to a task. Ask the candidate to explain why they took a particular approach to solving a problem, and then perhaps if there were a different path that would have resulted in an even better outcome. In general, avoid questions just to stump someone, unless there is a legitimate business reason behind the question.
Second – Define the job responsibilities differently. Begin with the job goals and define the performance characteristics that will make someone successful in the job. Look at the intangible characteristics of your employees who perform well, and incorporate those attributes into your assessment process if appropriate, and then develop the primary technical skills necessary to perform the job.
Remember, technical employees are typically hard wired to improve their skills, and desire to grow technically. If someone has 80% of the required skills or experience, under normal circumstances they should be worthy of interviewing. Career growth is almost always at the top of everyone’s desires, and invariably ahead of just compensation as the primary motivator to change jobs.
Third – Know when you truly have a job for the real “A Player”, versus when you have a job that you hope will develop into an “A Player” role over time. That does not mean settling for a less than qualified candidate, but let’s face it; the top 10% require more money, more attention, more job responsibilities, typically greater independent decision-making capabilities, faster promotion paths, etc. And frankly, the most successful firms achieve their greatness by extracting the best performance from the “B Players” on their team, helping them achieve their individual “A Player Results”, and making them feel proud of what they achieve.
Fourth – Know your work environment and what will make it attractive to a qualified candidate. There comes a time when even the biggest firms cannot, and will not pay more to hire someone. The Social Fabric of your firm is a comprehensive understanding of what you have to offer an employee, other than just compensation. It is here where a smaller company can typically outcompete the larger firms. Items such as flexible work hours or a work from home policy, flexible time off, greater autonomous decision making based on performance, company paid training, obvious peer worker camaraderie, or being in a growing market or industry that helps propel the growth of your firm are all examples of what makes up the social fabric of a company.
Quick Hint: Ask your staff to share their insights as to why they like working at your company. You might be surprised at what you learn that will help you during the interview process.
Fifth – Before making an offer to someone, ask them; “Why would you want this job?” Look for characteristics in their response such as excitement, sense of commitment to perform well, belief they will be a top performer, or perhaps replaying parts of the interview that resonated with them.
Thoughtful responses will mention specifics about the job and their past ability to perform those tasks well. Personal alignment with the industry your firm is in is always a good sign, as well as stating how well they feel they fit the cultural environment. Mentioning the work environment shows the candidate paid attention to more than just the job duties.
If they have the presence of mind to share their belief in terms of how their effort will bring success to the company’s business plan, then you really hit a homerun with that candidate. That type of response illustrates a level of business acumen all companies desire in their employees.
VAR Staffing’s sole focus is enabling the VAR / MSP community to hire the right technical talent for the right job. Increasing your staff? We welcome the opportunity to discuss our talent acquisition services. Call us at 972-996-0966.