7 Secrets to Stellar Hiring

You can never care too much about who you put on your team. There are countless factors to consider, the most important of which is if a candidate will add to—rather than subtract from—your company.

What’s one of the biggest mistakes organizations make in hiring? They do it too quickly.

They wait until their back is up against a wall and then hire one of the first names that pop up from recommendations. Then, guess what? Sooner, rather than later, they’re faced with an underperforming or unhappy team member and need to fire or replace him or her.

How can leaders avoid this mistake? Hire slowly.

Here are seven secrets to doing it well:

1. Conduct a ridiculous number of interviews. The money guy, Dave Ramsey, conducts more than a dozen interviews with job candidates. Why? Because, he says, “even a donkey can look like a thoroughbred for two interviews.”

After you get into the fourth, fifth, and sixth interview, people start to show who they are. On the flip side, you, as a company, also start to show your true self to the interviewee after more interviews.

If you take your time, every time, you have a good chance of hiring the right person.

2. Ask unique questions. Ask questions the candidate probably hasn’t considered. Don’t start with, “Tell me why I should give you this job.” If they know anything about interviewing, they’ve already prepared a response for that question.

But that’s not what you need to know from them and that’s not what they need to know about the job. Rather, ask questions like, “Is this really what you want to do every day? Why? What about this appeals to you?”

3. Play devil’s advocate. This may sound strange, but people show their true colors when you try to convince them NOT to take the job. Tell them about headaches, challenges, and the craziness that makes up the organization.

This helps you and them assess whether the opportunity is a good fit. The idea is to investigate them a little bit, so instead of getting canned responses such as, “I think I can do a good job; I can make an impact; I can be a valued addition,” you might hear, “You know, I believe in what you guys are doing.”

If people aren’t driven by your cause, they’re not going to fit the culture.

4. Sell the cause. Speaking of cause, that should be your main selling point. Forget focusing on financial incentives or how fun the job can be. That’s important. But what’s most important is selling them the cause or mission that underpins your organization. If that doesn’t strike a chord in your candidate, then it will never be a right fit.

This is especially important today with Millennials. Understanding how to motivate, inspire, and hire this generation will be paramount in the coming years. They are constantly asking, “Why are we doing what we are doing?” They need to believe in the answer.

5. Delegate hiring. It can be a big mistake for leaders to take on the lion’s share of the hiring if they aren’t the ones who will have a lot of direct contact with the person once he or she is hired.

The interview should be handled mainly by the person’s future team members.

The team should hire its own people. The leader’s role should be more as the protector or guardian of the workplace’s culture.

6. Widen the circle. Consider including someone outside the normal circle of interviewers in the process.

For example, if a candidate is interviewing for a job working in your Marketing department, have someone in another department present or have someone who would be working for that candidate conduct part of the interview.

7. Give little tests. Every workplace has a culture that includes what’s important to you and what makes your organization tick.

One way to find out if the person is a good match for your organization is to give him or her little tests. For example, if being responsive is important, send a job candidate a random text message outside work hours about something non-work-related such as baseball. If he or she responds, great! If not, then red flags should be raised about that person’s fit.

For your own company, figure out ways you can take some of your cultural values and passively incorporate them outside of the formal interview.

A new hire can make (or break) your team. Because of this, you can never care too much about who you put on your team. There are countless factors to consider, the most important of which is if a candidate will add to—rather than subtract from—your company.

William Vanderbloemen is the author of “Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace.” He is an entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, author, and CEO/Founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group (VSG), an executive search firm that helps organizations find their key staff. VSG has been named four and three times to the top of Entrepreneur.com’s Top Company Cultures list of small businesses and Houston Business Journal Best Place To Work list, respectively. VSG also was named to Houstonia’s 2017 Best Places to Work list and Forbes’ 2017 list of America’s Top Executive Recruiting Firms.



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