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Who is the right hire for the job?

That’s a question managers and recruiters face with every open position. Almost always there is a job description, and informal knowledge about the daily activities. And on the other hand, there are dozens if not hundreds of electronic applications. And on both sides, there is imperfect information. Hiring right is a key factor in minimizing unwanted employee turnover. Selecting the top candidate is both an art and a science.

Consider the following three criteria when assessing candidates:

  1. Technical skills and relevant experience
  2. Personality profile
  3. Fit with the corporate culture

While these may seem obvious, there are multiple pitfalls ready to trap the hasty hiring manager.

Skills and Experience:

This is often the first screening criterion, for good reason. The successful candidate must be able to do the job as assigned. But at times the perfect candidate may not be who you think.

  • For entry-level jobs, directly relevant experience may not be the most important criteria. You may have the capability to quickly train a new employee on the job. In this case, an enthusiastic candidate who is a quick learner can be the best choice.
  • For middle management positions, the individual with the most impressive credentials may not be the best fit. The candidate may have held a top executive position, but may lack the current technical knowledge you need. A Director of Human Resources needs to know human resources, and a Director of Finance needs to know finance.
  • Experience and skills may not indicate the best candidate for promotion. Each position demands a unique skill set. The skills required for a staff position are different than those required of a supervisor. At the highest levels, the skills of a Chief Executive Officer are different than the skills needed for a successful Chief Operating Officer.

Personality Profile:

The right hire is more than a set of technical skills. People are complex, and that complexity can work to the benefit or detriment of your organization .

  • Do you need a creator or maintainer? Some positions require creativity and initiative, while others require adhering to process. Mis-applied creativity can send good systems crashing, while the lack of creative thinking can immobilize a dynamic process.
  • Is your position best suited for an introvert or an extrovert? Some people thrive in a quiet, secluded office, while others flourish in a sea of apparent chaos.
  • What personality profile best fits the needs of the team? Sometimes a similar profile will be most effective, at other times, a different but complimentary profile is in order.
  • What is the personality profile of the supervisor? An aggressive employee may manipulate an overly empathetic supervisor, while a tough supervisor can intimidate a fearful employee.

Corporate Culture:

Every organization has a culture. The right hire will fit, and ideally thrive in your corporate culture.

  • Take time to define your true corporate culture. Are you structured, or fluid? What is your balance between being employee-centered, customer-centered and profitability-centered? What are your values?
  • What values are important to the candidate? What is the match with your corporate culture? What areas are potentially in conflict?
  • And finally, will the candidate support and reflect these values and thrive within your culture and value set?

The Right Hire:

Finding the right hire is a complex task. Look beyond the credentials to the individual, with their unique strengths and weaknesses relative to the position. Take a structured approach and evaluate goodness of fit, not only for technical skills, but also for enthusiasm, relevant experience, personality and fit with your corporate culture.

Nothing in business happens without people. Hire the right people for the right positions and set your business to grow and profit.