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The importance of thinking out of the box when hiring the right candidate

Thinking outside of the box

Submitted by Amela Bajric on Tue, 11/26/2019 - 11:36
Read time: 4 mins mins read
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In these fast-paced times, no matter what business you are in, it is important that you hire the right quality of candidate that is going to help the company grow and run to its best potential. This however, can be more difficult than first thoughts would suggest.

To ensure that you are bringing in the best selection of talent, it is vital to think outside of the box and look past just what is black & white on a candidate’s CV and give the time to learn about them as people.

Of course a new employee will need to have a certain level of skills and experience required to work the role but a real gem is found when you realise they are able to fit in with the organisation’s culture, ambitions and drive whilst being willing to take on challenges and handle different directions as they come along. 

So how do you make sure that you are making the correct decision on a new hire? The guidelines below should help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Potential is key – make this a focus

One thing I have learnt from working in the recruitment industry is that personality is the prize winner when it comes to a new hire. Whilst having the right skill set may appear as what is essential, the truth is, skills can be acquired and experience can be gained, but personalities can’t.

“In a study of skills that distinguish star performers in every field from entry-level jobs to executive positions, the single most important factor was not IQ, advanced degrees, or technical experience, it was EI (Emotional Intelligence).  Of the competencies required for excellent in performance in the job studies, 67% were emotional competencies.” — Daniel Goleman

For example, if they struggle with making eye contact or when answering questions they decide not to elaborate, you may want to question their fit for the role/company.

I believe the biggest mistake that can be made when hiring is assuming that the best person for the job will need to have the exact necessary experience. As you become more involved in hiring new staff you will come to learn that communication skills, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and thought processes really matter. This is where potential lies.

Ask questions, correctly

Some other great questions to ask would be to delve into their ambitions and future expectations. For example, you could ask where they expect to be in 5-10 years’ time, what they look for in a role, why they would like to work for your company. These questions will help you understand their aspirations and who they are as a person and how they will work and grow within your organisation.

Don’t be the only one to ask questions

In order to obtain whether a potential new employee has the right personality for the position, it’s important to give the candidate a chance to learn and understand the environment and if it is right for them also.

I would advise being open and honest about what it will be like to work within the team and the company. You will want to paint a realistic picture of where they will sit and what the environment will be like. This will give you a chance to understand what is important to the candidate and give them a chance to decide if your organisation will be the right fit from their view – which is vital if you want to hire someone for the long term.

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover

Everyone make’s a judgement on first appearance but I wouldn’t write a candidate off on this basis, unless they are client/customer facing it is important to consider how efficient they will be in the job and other ways they can fit the team.

“The bottom line is that if physical attractiveness is one of the primary drivers of your hiring decisions, then you’re probably overlooking your top candidates’ fundamental, intrinsic qualities — you know, the actual skills, capabilities, and personality types that more significantly indicate long-term success. And if you’re a recruiter that is looking beyond physical attractiveness, then I’m sure you have found (as I have), that in hiring, all that glitters is not gold.” – Carlie Smith

So to summarise, some of the most successful hires and people may not have had the greatest CV or academic history but when it comes to passion, drive, ambition and team motivation, they are second to none. These are the hires that make a difference in a business, they can bring you longevity, stability and a generally good atmosphere that can really help grow your organisation. 

Seeking the perfect candidate via a list of duties or past experiences does not always guarantee the right hire, 20 years of experience could mean they actually only have one year of genuine experience repeated 20 times. A candidate with the right attitude is likely to give you a considerably better return than somebody with the right skills on paper, but a lack of desire or passion in person. Something worth thinking about in your next hiring process.

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