The recruitment process is never easy. There are so many factors which will define a hiring decision; does the candidate have the right experience? Will they fit with the rest of the team? Do they show potential for future development? And with an increasing number of candidates to choose from, it can be difficult to know what qualities are best to look for in an individual – their tangible skills or personal qualities and behaviours?
Depending on the role they are trying to fill, many hiring managers will often assess candidates based on either their skills or their behaviours. However, assessing these attributes in isolation could result in missing out on potential top talent. An individual might not have the previous experience you are initially looking for, but may have the right attitudes and competencies to develop these skills and really deliver value for your business.
We asked talent management consultancy a&dc how best to go about it…
“We believe that to select the best candidate it’s important that you assess three aspects of an individual:
- Experience (skills and past evidence)
- Behaviour (competencies and attitude)
- Fit (values, cultural alignment and drive)
In doing this, you will gain a clearer indication of the person as a whole and the contribution they will make as an employee. While it’s recommended you assess all three elements, it’s important to note that the focus of attention on each aspect will vary depending on the job role and seniority.
Key considerations for assessing a candidate
So what should you bear in mind when assessing a candidate?
Firstly, you need to be clear of what you’re looking for – someone to fill specialist roles, which require certain technical skills, or someone who will be involved in more of a leadership role? For example, as individuals progress within an organisation and begin to manage people and projects, they must make the transition from ‘doing’ the work themselves, to getting the work done through others. When an employee is at the initial stage of doing the work themselves, experience and behaviour are essential prerequisites and will be the focus of the assessment process for such roles. Continue reading “Interview assessment: What should you measure?” »
Many businesses are finding it hard to recruit the talent that they need. In this guest post Katrina Collier of recruitment transformation consultancy Winning Impression, looks at one part of the talent acquisition process that is often overlooked but could be key in making sure you get the right person…
“Anyone who has heard me speak knows that I believe that to truly succeed in hiring top talent you need to look at your Candidate Attraction & Experience, from source to application right through to offer, and ensure it feels welcoming & passionate.
This is no easy task for recruiters. You need to step back, look objectively at the whole process and get a feel for where things could be falling down. There’s no point spending lots of energy creating a great buzz on social media if job seekers are turned off by the reality.
It’s easy enough to resolve a technical issue with your application process if it’s say, a glitch in the ATS, but what if it’s something more subjective like body language. This could lead to some awkward conversations with colleagues.
Though I appreciate as an interviewer it can be a challenge to stay focused and engaged when a candidate is unsuitable, how do you ensure that your body language isn’t putting off the applicants you do like?
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Sit up straight, I don’t mean rigid, simply appear interested. Slouching can send the wrong message even if it is comfortable.
- Avoid encroaching on their space, as this will feel intimidating to a potentially already nervous applicant. Are you standing or sitting too closely, did the applicant move back at all? Have they put something between you like their bag or coffee cup?
- Remember to smile; you’ll learn more about your candidate, as they’ll feel at ease.
- Watch your tone of voice; does it sound welcoming and enthusiastic or harsh and bored? Continue reading “Is Your Body Language Putting Off the Best Talent?” »
We recently published a guest blog from HR and Talent consultant Sharon Clews in which she talked about hiring for organisational fit over technical skill. She had recently completed a major recruitment project within retail financial services and was sharing her experiences.
In that blog she talked about the need for using behavioural questioning as part of the interview process, and in this follow up she shares some of the questions that she asked. Let us know if you have used these, or similar, questions…
“Behavioural interview questions are based on the premise that how you behaved in the past will predict the way you will behave in the future. Of course, circumstances and situations change, but overall, the response a candidate provides will be a very close approximation of how they would be expected to react in a similar situation.
You should use this form of questioning to delve into the way a candidate is likely to respond to situations requiring attributes such as attention to detail, autonomy, criticism, commitment, decision making, communication and initiative. In these examples, the information in brackets at the end is what we are trying to elicit from the candidate with that particular question.
- Tell me about a time when you have had to communicate an unpopular management decision to your team. How did you deliver this information? (communication skills)
- Tell me about the most difficult customer you have ever had to deal with. What was the problem, what did you do and what was the outcome? (customer service skills)
- Can you describe any projects or tasks that were primarily undertaken because of your efforts? How successful were they? (initiative)
- Give me an example of when you were successful in identifying and developing business opportunities outside existing business (leadership skills) Continue reading “14 Key Interview Questions to ask if you’re Hiring for Organisational Fit” »
Interviewing skills are essential for all HR and hiring managers and yet, sometimes we get it wrong. Interviewing for the right fit – for both the job and the organisation is essential HR practice.
We invited Sharon Clews, an experienced Recruitment and HR consultant and blogger, who has just completed a major recruitment project within a retail financial services organisation, to share her experiences of how to get it right…
“Hiring for technical skill over organisational fit or attitude can have detrimental consequences which reach wider than just the role you are hiring for. I learned this lesson when I hired a very talented designer for a pivotal role. As it turned out his attitude was so disruptive to co-workers and customers that his superior skill set wasn’t worth the trade off! This in no way means that you can’t have both. It does mean that particularly in technical roles, you must look for more than just skills. If you come across someone with both the right fit and the skills to match, hire them immediately!
The answer is out there, and it’s looking for you
Before you go in all guns blazing asking the deer-in-the-headlights candidate how they are going to fit in with you, you need to be clear and exacting about what they need to fit with.
- Make sure whoever is interviewing understands the position you are hiring for; what the organisational culture, values and expectations are. You really need to be interviewing before you interview!
- Is the Organisational Chart clear and up to date? Could you share it in an interview? Is it very clear who the new candidate is reporting to?
- Understand what the candidate drivers are. Is it the flexibility of the role; to work for a great organisation, money, benefits? Get to the bottom of why they are there. To that end, find out what their values are. Do they match with the core values of the business?
- Use behavioural questioning in your interview process. Ask the candidate specific questions to see how they did, not how they think they will do! These questions will provide examples of where they have been successful at something similar to the work they will be doing for you. Questions like “Tell me about a time when you had to manage a staff member for poor performance”. You want an answer that tells you the candidate has done this before.
- Are you recruiting for a particular type of person? Do you need an introvert, an extrovert; linear or lateral person? You need to be clear about the type of people who make up the existing team. Too many of the same type of person might not bring the best results. How well does the hiring manager understand the dynamics of the team?
- Does the organisation, the role or the industry need to overcome any perception issues?
- Try and dig out any hidden agendas a Manager might have about hiring a particular style of person. Continue reading “Are You Interviewing for the Right Fit?” »
When preparing for interview it’s easy to focus so much on preparing answers to questions that some of the softer skills, that may be just as important, are overlooked.
Career coach Steve Nicholls recently told us about the importance of talking to everybody you meet during the interview process, and here he shares with us a case study with some useful lessons about using social skills.
“When a prospective client called me to say they were bored in their current role, but weren’t sure what they wanted to do, it was music to my ears! Being a career change specialist I’m used to helping those looking for new career ideas, and thought “This is bread and butter to me”! I was to be proved wrong… Challenges lay ahead…
It transpired that she had been in the same middle management role for almost nine years, had gained some influence within the company, enjoyed the social aspects of the role but felt a little nervous in these situations (she worked for a private company funded by a government contract – an unusual situation in the UK). Her role meant she was able to attend senior level meetings, sit on some important internal groups, and have the general day to day line management role. She was “comfortable” I guess you could say.
She knew that she wanted a change but really had no idea where to start. We started to work through a Career Change Programme, but alongside this I was also coaching her slight lack of social confidence, as I was very aware that this element would probably be a feature in any future interview process. Continue reading “Keep It Social! – Using Social Skills During the Interview Process” »