As you go through a rigorous sourcing, screening and candidate selection process, you aren’t just looking for a talented candidate. Sure, talented candidates come with a host of advantages, but as experienced hiring managers know, a candidate’s technical skill set can only take a company so far. You’ll also need to find what HR pros call a “perfect match”, meaning a candidate who will adapt well to your company culture, form strong connections here, adapt to the quirks of this workplace, and stick around. The signs of a skilled, personable candidate are easy to spot…but the signs of perfect match may be more subtle. Here are a few ways to identify them and find your star.
1. Send a very clear message about your unique workplace culture.
Don’t pitch your workplace as “fun” or “flexible” if it isn’t. This does a disservice to your candidates and it adds unnecessary obstacles to your hiring process. Instead, be honest and present the clearest possible picture of your office to your applicants. During interviews, be direct. Describe the most unpleasant, challenging, or unappealing aspect of the position that your candidate will face on a daily basis and see how she responds. If she hesitates for a long painful moment, you have your answer. But if she nods gamely or even shows enthusiasm for this aspect of the job, that’s a great sign.
2. Get the whole story.
There’s no need to rely on a simple-one page resume as you face this complex decision. Hiring is expensive, and this position is vital to your company mission. So start with a resume evaluation, but don’t stop there. Go online, glean what you can from the candidate’s public profiles, and present meaningful questions to every reference she provides. Don’t violate privacy or ethical rules, of course (don’t check credit or medical histories without specific permission, and NEVER ask for social media passwords), but get the big picture. Within limits, you have a right and an obligation to perform necessary due diligence.
3. Have more than one manager in the room during interviews.
This way you’ll save money, time, and your company’s reputation by calling the candidate in for only one or two interviews instead of an exhaustive string of them (stop at a maximum of three). You’ll also avoid the need to make a decision based only on gut feelings. There’s a time and a place to act on instinct alone, and running a successful business isn’t one of them. The more perspectives and input, the better.
For more ways to make sure your top candidates can handle your culture, not just the responsibilities of the job, reach out to the Little Rock staffing experts at CSS.