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Four Qualities You Want in a Potential Employee

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Talent Management | Hiring | Entrepreneurship | Four Qualities You Want in a Potential EmployeeIf you are involved in the hiring process for your company, you are very likely wise to the fact that searching for and hiring a new employee is no easy task. Along with the pressure of making sure you fill a vacancy in a timely manner, comes the task of sifting through hundreds, maybe thousands of applications to find the ideal candidates.

There are also times when the number of candidates you consider inhibits your ability to pinpoint exactly what qualities would best be suited towards the position that you are looking to fill.

Here are four specific qualities that you should look for when conducting your search for your ideal employee.

1. Excellent Communication Skills

The ability to communicate well, both in speech and the written word, sounds as though it should be a given quality in every candidate. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. It is important that you confirm that the individuals you employ can hold their own when it comes to communication.

The last thing you want to do is to set yourself up to have an employee who is unable to appropriately handle internal communications. If your company is like most others, the day-to-day success of your operation involves many moving parts. From office memos to updates on various projects, it is critical that all those involved have the ability to communicate clearly and concisely.

Additionally, if the position you are hoping to fill is one that involves any aspect of client contact, it would be less than ideal to have someone in that position who is unable to adequately communicate with your customers.

For a more specific idea of the communication skills that you should be keeping an eye out for, check out this comprehensive list that the experts at Habits for Wellbeing put together.

2. Advanced Degrees

Not only does the fact that your potential employee has an advanced degree demonstrate a certain level of commitment to the industry in which you both work, but it also shows that this individual has the ability to learn and improve. Furthermore, it also indicates that they have a desire to continue to do both of those things.

Depending on the type of business that you are in, there are particular degrees that seem particularly appealing to employers. Generally speaking, if someone has an MBA, for example, that means that the person you are considering has spent time developing critical skills that will come in handy in the business world.

Don’t be deterred by a candidate who has earned their degree in a less traditional manner, either. More and more students are earning their advanced degrees online, for instance. Prominent and accredited schools like Suffolk University Online MBA can be trusted to have properly educated those who go through their programs.

3. The Right Attitude

The right employee should also come with the right attitude. Remember, this person is going to become a part of your company. You might be in a situation where you will be working side by side with this individual, and in that case, you don’t want to hire someone whose attitude doesn’t fit the bill or your company.

On the other hand, you might be filling a position in another department from yours. In that instance, you want to avoid any potential for future friction amongst other employees.

There are also certain characteristics that tend to make for a good employee no matter what line of work you are in. Does this person seem like they have ambition? Are they positive-minded and pleasant to be around? All of these things are important to consider particularly when you are in the interviewing part of the hiring process.

4. Staying Potential

The last thing you want is to fast-forward to six months from now only to find yourself having to fill the exact same position once again. It is important to find someone who is in it for the long haul. This simply comes down to asking for an honest estimation of the candidate’s dedication to the job you are offering.

Does this person have any long-term plans that might inhibit their ability to stick around? Do they have all the skills that it takes to be a success in this position? If not, you might risk that person falling short of fulfilling all the duties that the job requires of them. In that case, they might be the ones ultimately deciding that it isn’t a good fit.

Unusual Hiring Practices

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Unusual Hiring PracticesInterviews are terrible vessels for people to get to know each other truthfully. Everyone is putting on a show. To make a terrible analogy, consider dating. People are at their best, hiding their flaws and playing up their strengths, flirting with lying and omission in order to control the perception of the other. Interviews share a lot of this.

The opposition between the interviewer and interviewee makes it so that both parties are trying to sell to each other. The interviewer sells the idea that working in that organization is a dream while the interviewee sells the idea that they are the perfect match for that position. It’s pretty ludicrous when you think about it. Rather than have an open and honest dialogue about the organization, the candidate and the fit or unfit, interviewers to flaunt about how great the organization is in, rejoicing in the schadenfreude experienced by the candidates who so desperately want to make it through and be accepted by the all-powerful interviewer. It boils down to power-tripping that adds very little value to a meticulous selection process.

That’s why I try to deconstruct this framework. Hiring is not about us evaluating candidates. It’s about trying to establish whether or not fundamentally there is a cultural and behavioral fit. We will also consider past experience and skills but as secondary to the decision making the process. The primary driver is the fit and both the candidate and the interviewer are discovering together whether the fit is there or not.

Even though it’s straight-forward, deconstructing the current paradigm is not easy given how ingrained it is in our thought-process. Deconstruction is a multi-pronged process and it involves the following elements:

1. Get out of the Evaluator chair. You are no different, no better than the person you are interviewing. Be normal, be human and make others feel comfortable. This gives people the chance to disarm and to forget about having to prove themselves. Having the chance to see people in their natural state is the greatest revelation you can attain from an interview. No one I know can work in interview mode all the time. It’s not sustainable. Work is stressful and the hours are long. That’s why we want an interview process that leads us to find people who feel naturally comfortable in our culture.

2. Focus on the behavioral aspects. We tend to be very impressed with big names and big titles on people’s resumes. But we are not hiring their education nor their work experience. We are hiring a person. And that’s what we want to get to know. How do they react when feeling examined? How do they feel when we are smiling? How do they feel about being confronted? How do they deal with pressure? And you don’t find out these behavioral trends from asking about them. You find out about these things by getting to know a candidate. Go beyond your own biases and use your senses.

3. I strongly advise candidates not to work with us. Why should we try to pretend that it’s great working here? It’s not. It’s work. Most people would not choose to work here if they had 50 billion dollars in the bank. That’s just a fact of life. We don’t want people choosing us for the wrong reasons. Paying bills, needing a job, wanting to advance a career. Those are all legitimate pursuits that most of us share. But we want to hire people based on the deeper motivational drivers. We want to find people who want to be a part of something bigger than their own selves, who do not mind getting into constructive conflicts and will stand by their opinion. We understand that people that we bring into the company are the very fabric of the company’s soul, which most of us refer to as culture.

So we deconstruct the traditional hiring paradigm by forgetting about skills and focusing on the person. We deconstruct the interview paradigm by not positioning ourselves as interviewers but as partners who are working together to find out whether or not this is indeed a good fit for all of us. We find out more about people when they get a chance to speak more honestly and when we truly hear what is being said. We forget about the labels and the brands that are pegged to resumes and we look at the intersection of values and goals. Those are the pillars for a solid and prosperous relationship. And that’s what hiring is in the end. A relationship.


About the Author

Gabriel Fairman, Founder and CEO of BureauWorks, has been working on transforming localization business processes into technology over the past 15 years. Over the past 5 years he has focused on developing algorithms that make sense of bigger data patterns in order to predict translator performance based on data obtained through peer reviews. The challenge on building AI towards that end is that translations can be great and still be significantly changed by reviewers. As changes are for the most pasty subjective, there is no direct correlation that can be established to easily determine the quality of translations based on simple data sets. The challenge requires digging deeper into more complex correlations that allow translation quality to be managed through algorithms that can reliably pair the right linguists to any given document. Gabriel’s focus is to think systemically as opposed to through a causality framework in order to solve these harder problems through AI.

How To Make Sure You Hire The Right Person For The Job

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | How To Make Sure You Hire The Right Person For The JobHiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake and leave you feeling frustrated that you have no one to complete the work that needs to be done. Therefore, it’s extremely important that if you want your organization to succeed, that you hire the right person for the job each and every time.

There are steps you can take to help ensure you achieve this goal and aren’t wasting your time or anyone else’s. Remember that it’s never a bad idea to reach out to current employees when you’re on the hunt to fill positions to see if they have any suggestions before you go out looking elsewhere.

Work with A Specialist

There are companies such as Devonshire recruitment whose job and desire it is to help you fill positions at your workplace. They have a pool of candidates who are prepared to speak with you and will be a good fit right from the start. You can make sure you hire the right person for the job by being specific and transparent with your job description, and only bringing people in for interviews who align with your objectives and specific position requirements.

Invite Candidates to Take Psychometric Tests

There are dozens of psychometric tests such as The PI Behavioral Assessment Test, which help employers to filter out the best candidates for the benefit of their business.

These kinds of tests measure a candidate’s skill level in relation to problem-solving, ability to do the work, behavioral traits, and patterns and etc.

Contact References

It’s good practice to ask for several references from candidates on your final job application. Not only should you look to see who they are, but you should also take the extra step and time to contact them. You can learn a lot about an individual by how they’ve previously performed and what their strengths and weaknesses have been in the past. Ask the right questions and encourage the other person to be as candid and open as possible in their responses.

Hold Multiple Interviews

One interview isn’t going to give you enough time to figure out if the person you’re speaking with is right for the job. Therefore, it’s important to hold multiple interviews and in many different forms before hiring someone. For instance:

  • On the phone
  • Face-to-face
  • Interviews held by different leadership members
  • Interviews held by different department heads
  • Verbal and written tests

These are a few ways for how you can mix up the interview process and evaluate a candidate on their various skills and abilities to make sure they’re a good fit at your workplace. It’ll be helpful to get feedback from other people at your company as well to hear what they have to say about a potential candidate so you can compare notes.

Take Your Time

What’s going to help you out the most in your search to find the right candidate for the job is to go slow and take your time. Rushing through the interview process and failing to write a detailed job description is only going to hurt you and your company in the long run. Instead, take advantage of these suggestions for how you can make sure you’re hiring the right person for the job, and this way, they should also be more likely to stick around for the long-term.

Tips for finding the perfect hire?

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Anthony Fletcher | Tips for finding the perfect hire?

Finding someone perfect is one of the most difficult things one has today. Not only in terms of business but also generally in life. Whether it is your friends, your life partners or anyone, this is a pretty tough decision to make as it involves judging someone. It surely is hard but if done right it is not impossible and can be very easy.

To hire the perfect individual, you must look for their qualities and traits that can be of your benefit. Judging a fish for the ability to climb a tree is not the way to go. What you really have to do is focus on what they are applying for. For instance, if you are hiring a person looking to be a sales manager, focus on their communication skills and their thinking skills. What you do not have to focus on is how well the person knows the bookish definition. Those are important to some extent but are not the entire criteria. Same goes for innovations and technology. You need to find someone who is creative and thinks outside the box. Remember that there are millions of people who read the same books to become something, only those are truly successful who implement their knowledge in unique ways. What you have to look for is the quality of work in a person.

The perfect hire would be someone who clicks with you. Someone who picks up the pace as fast as you can. If someone is too slow then you will have an extra burden on your shoulder where you will have to spoon feed that person through everything. A hire is someone who should do the opposite of that. It is someone who is there to clean up the mess with you and be someone who makes your force strong. For that, you need to find a good match for your team. A person who is too fast and too initiative can also cause problems. This is because such people do not have the flexibility to mold and that is something very important when working with a team. Therefore, team management and team spirit is something which each perfect hire must have.

A person who is not willing to take risks is not ready for a job. This does not mean that you need to look for reckless behavior, this means that a perfect hire should have a very strong personality. If there is something that they are sure of would work in the benefit of the company and would cause no harm to it, they should take that chance instead of waiting for someone higher in the hierarchy to do it. This happens when your potential employee is sharp enough to do so. This brings us to another important quality which is being street smart. A perfect hire should be good with statistics, he should also be well educated with all concepts clear but what he absolutely needs to have is the ability to use all that in the best way. Knowing everything is easy but acting on it is not. Thus, you must look for these things in a hire.

A good screening system is what saves you from a lot of trouble. If this is not good then you can lose all the good potential hires and end up with the ones who aren’t suitable for that position. This is why you must make sure that everyone who is involved in the procedure of screening the best candidates has a clear idea as to what you are looking for so that they keep an eye out for the best of the lot. All of this sounds pretty corporate but this is because we are using corporate terms for all this. Every decision in life is made like that if we think about it. We narrow down the decision and then choose what is best. Due to this reason, it is very important to check for everything like this in the business world. The potential candidates should be the ones who truly deserve and those who actually fit and those who are willing to work as the company works.

Commitment is also a very important thing you should look for. If the hire lacks commitment that means that they will give you a tough time ahead. They will slack at work and will also not take their work seriously. Look for commitment and the rest will fall in place as well.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Anthony FletcherAnthony Fletcher, Sr is a former athlete and current business expert. He is the owner and president of My Future Consulting, Inc and Integrity Sports Agency and has over two decades of experience in executive management, innovative solutions, staff building, and recruitment. His consulting firm, founded on the philosophy that people are the most important part of a company, has revolutionized the future of staffing.

Take A More Strategic Approach To Hiring

I thought it would be interesting to explore the concept of “strategic” when it comes to hiring. Both in terms of positioning hiring within the context of the organisation and when undertaking hiring itself.

One of the challenges when hiring is to move it from a tactical activity, reluctantly undertaken when a vacancy arises, to a strategic activity that contributes to organisational excellence. Until hiring is firmly positioned as a key strategic activity, organisations will face problems such as weak talent pipeline, significant opportunity costs, higher hiring errors (it is worth taking the time to work out the cost of hiring errors), business stagnation and eroded organisational value. Additionally, ambitious business leaders will not invest sufficient time, early enough in their careers, to learning and honing their hiring skills. I have, over the years, worked with many great leaders (visionary, decisive, strategic, charismatic, brilliant) who simply cannot hire well. Yet, hiring the right or wrong people will have a huge impact on the organisation. Recruitment is both an art and a science and organisational leaders need to master both elements

In terms of hiring itself, I would suggest that you need to approach the activity strategically. Namely, to think longer term and put it in a broader context. This will enable you to build organisational capability and bench strength and develop the organisation for longer term growth. Thus, by taking a more strategic approach to recruitment you can recruit for the future at least as much as for the present. By this I mean that you can start to plan the skills and competencies you will need to be successful in the future. It also allows you to hire people today that you can develop into the roles you will need in the future which reduces the amount of ‘crisis’ hiring you need to do which is risky, expensive and can reduce motivation of more junior staff with high potential. I believe that a certain amount of external hiring (rather than all internal promotion) is healthy for an organisation but it needs to be intentional and not forced upon you due to the lack of well-developed internal staff.

Hiring needs to be part of an integrated talent management framework. This sounds complicated and clearly, for very large organisations, it can be, but even with much smaller organisations these elements should be in place: Planning the resources that you need, investing in resourcing (i.e. finding the talent), job design and organisation design (you may need to flex the organisation to allow people to grow and develop), management hiring and selection skills, staff engagement and retention, staff and management development. In my experience, large organisation can lose sight of the ‘why’ and become lost in the systems and infrastructure. They focus on developing complex processes but not deriving real value from them, or even worse, ignoring them when faced with decisions such as a senior promotion. And smaller organisations do not always think broadly enough and can make short term hiring decisions. In my experience, one of the main causes of slow growth in smaller organisations is that they do not hire early enough, or strategically enough.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Hiring Staff | Take A More Strategic Approach To HiringLisette Howlett is author of The Right Hire: Attract And Retain The Best People, a licensed Sandler Trainer located in London Central, and she has fifteen years of global change leadership and business development experience. Howlett is called upon by business owners of small and medium-sized companies for strategy and business development. Her experience includes financial services, technology, pharma/biotech, manufacturing, IT, media, recruitment and professional services.

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