Are They “The One”?

Over the last few weeks, we have been addressing the various components of the recruiting and hiring process, including how to differentiate “substance” from “shine”, developing effective job postings, and conducting efficient interviews. Once you have made it through the first steps of recruitment and have narrowed the pool down to your final few, how do you know if they are the “right fit”? It is easy for an applicant to look stellar on paper, but how do you know if they are the perfect individual for your organization, both as a potential member of your team and a good cultural match?

The Candidate’s Fit for the Role

Ensuring that the candidate is the best fit for the position is important in determining if they have the experience and education necessary to perform the essential functions of the job. Make certain that the job description for the position to be filled is up to date and clearly depicts what the expectations of the job are to avoid any confusion regarding these expectations. Once this is in place, there are a number of things to look for to see if the candidate fits the requirements:

  • Pay special attention to the applicant’s cover letter. Did they take the time to craft a personalized and detailed cover letter, or did they simply fire off their resume without bothering to interact beyond that?
  • Conduct a basic analysis of email communication to see if the candidate is truly interested in the role. Look for things like basic grammar and response time. A genuinely interested candidate will typically proofread their responses for errors and will reply in a timely manner.
  • Avoid questions that can be viewed as discriminatory (particularly as the questions pertain to the ADA/ADAAA), but ask questions about the candidate’s background, work experience, and skill sets to determine if their experience aligns with what is needed for the position.

The Candidate’s Fit Within the Organization

The second factor to look for in your top candidates is whether or not they will be a good fit for the organization, for the team. When determining this, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Demeanor and behaviors during the interviews. During the phone screenings and in person interview(s), look for behaviors that will mesh well with those of others in your organization. Depending on the job, the department, etc., your expectations of what mannerisms are required for a good fit may vary.
  • Ensure that the candidate’s values match with those of your organization. Are they a good cultural fit? Consider having the potential employee meet with current employees to get a feel for their ability to fit in with an established team.

Selecting the right person for your open position can save your Company precious time and money. Making it a point to review these few key factors and effectively engaging your candidates in the process can help you fit the right person into the job, the culture, and the organization.

Effective Interviews – The Do’s and Do Not’s

Once you get past the initial review of applicants who have responded to your job posting (reviewing their resume and cover letter, conducting an initial phone screening, etc.), it is time to whittle down the group who made that first pass even more and invite your top picks to come in for their first in-person interview.

Interviewing the “right way” can be daunting for many employers. There are so many things to keep in mind when interviewing appropriately, but all of the best tips seem to surround what to do/not to do when it comes to the questions asked. Here are a few basic things to keep in mind as you prepare for the interviewing process:

Asking the Right Questions

The whole point of an interview is to get more information. To allow the applicant to fill in any gaps and to get clarification on some points that caught your attention when reviewing the documents they provided. To ensure you get the most applicable information from your candidates, ask questions that are open-ended and probing in nature which will give them a chance to provide you with scenarios and examples that paint a picture into what type of employee they will be and how they will fit into your organization and team.

Avoiding the Wrong Questions

On the flip side, avoid asking questions that are telegraphed (closed ended) and would result in a “yes” or “no” answer. These types of questions often give the candidate some insight as to what answer you are seeking which you certainly want to steer clear of; honest responses, even those that may result in the applicant being rejected after the interview, are always what you want.

A huge point of anxiety for the interviewer, especially if this task is something they are unfamiliar with, is the fear of asking a question that will come back to bite them. While a lot of this is common sense, it is easy to unintentionally ask a question the wrong way or to ask a question in an attempt to build camaraderie only to find later that the question you asked may have not been legal to ask.

Avoid any questions that pertain to anything personal or those that are in no way pertinent to the job. Things like race or national origin, religion or lack thereof, family or marital status, pregnancy or children/childcare, citizenship or birthplace, or questions regarding illness or disability are all strong “don’t’s.” When in doubt as to whether the question is alright to ask or not – don’t.

In our next post we will dig into our archives and will address one of the components to the recruiting process that is just as important as the tips we have shared with you already: how to ensure the candidate is the “right fit.” An applicant can look great on paper, and can answer each question perfectly, but there are other things that can make or break the decision to hire such as whether or not they will be a good cultural match for your organization and established team.