It all begins with job benchmarking—knowing what you actually need. So many companies rarely have job descriptions with no less identifiable traits required to accomplish the job at hand. By taking extra time on the front end, employers will not only save time in the long run but money. Hiring the wrong people is extremely costly.
Do They Have Applicable Experience?
When I'm hiring, I always look at the specific work experience someone has gotten. Even if they don't have the exact hard skills (like working with a specific technology), they may have soft skills and applicable experience. For example, if someone knows HTML from running their own blog on WordPress, but has not had the opportunity to publish content on a company's blog, at least you know they can actually blog and see their writing style. On the flip side, if they haven't ever worked with a marketing automation platform like HubSpot or Pardot, but they can write a decent email with no typos, then they'll probably be able to learn MarTech quickly.
Ask Questions Beyond Their Work Knowledge
Talent is everywhere, and while that is a huge part of the equation, so is the person’s character, work ethic, and attitude. To better determine how the candidate is as a person, ask them questions that go beyond their work knowledge. This could be asking what they would do in certain situations that pertain to their co-workers, their boss, work conflict, and even how they would run the company if they were in charge. Questions like these will better help you understand the type of person you are bringing into your company and go beyond what skills their resume lists.
Know Your Company Gaps
Know exactly what gaps you need to be filled on your team in the first place. This includes both soft skills as well as technical acumen. It becomes much clearer much earlier who's the best fit when you name the specific needs of your workplace rather than vague ideas.
For instance, say your team is in desperate need of a new content marketer. Does that hire need SEO experience? Do they have past agency work? Roles where they have led a marketing team or have they only worked on the creation or implementation side? Answer these questions, and you'll have a much clearer candidate in mind.
Consider Multiple Evaluation Strategies
Don’t rely solely on an interview to find the right person for the job. Consider other evaluation strategies that will ensure you found a good fit, not just someone that is a good interviewer. Pair the interviewing process with a personality test, a skill-based questionnaire, or some other sort of exercise to go beyond the standard process.
Create a selection rubric that has the skills, experiences, and mindsets that align with the job description. Recruit with a focus on tapping underrepresented groups (BIPOC, LGBTQIA, etc). Build an inclusive hiring process that will give you multiple perspectives on a candidate to make an informed decision.
Pay Attention to the Growth of the Position
Understand the candidate and pay attention to how you see their position growing within the next few years. It’s important to thoroughly screen potential candidates, but there’s a difference between making sure you get a solid sense of the work style and capabilities of your candidate and diving too deeply into the minutiae. It's also vital to understand the role that you are hiring for and knowing how the candidate’s goals align with the company's culture and vision.
Understand Your Internal Company Culture
The most important thing for any hiring manager to do in order to find the right person for a role is to understand the internal culture of the company. Without understanding what values are prioritized and how people function within an organization, they won’t be able to find someone who will thrive in that environment. By finding a culture fit first, most other things will fall into line.
Get a Technical Fit and a Culture Fit
When looking to expand your team, it is important that you hire individuals who are both a technical and cultural fit for your organization. The only way to determine if a candidate is a right fit is to ask them diverse questions during their interview. Go beyond their resume and ask them about their passions, hobbies, etc. You'll learn more about them and get a better sense of who they really are!
What steps does your organization take to hire the right person?
Have you been successful in hiring the right person?