If hiring the right people is the most important thing that an organization can do, is NOT hiring the wrong people the second-most important thing it can do? That case can certainly be argued.
A lot of people consider the tangible costs associated with hiring the wrong person. These include the time and effort spent sourcing candidates, the interview process, the relocation costs, and the recruiting fees.
However, there are other, less tangible costs. Among these are lost productivity, missed business opportunities, and subsequent declining revenues and profits. So . . . what can you do to prevent such things from happening?
Ask pertinent questions about the job description and potential candidates, specifically the following five:
#1—What was the person that formerly held the job doing?
There’s a good chance the job description has changed since that person started the job. It evolved over time, and it now involves things that it didn’t before. These things must be identified. If not, you’ll be working off the old job description, which won’t help you hire the right person.
#2—What might that person have been doing in the future?
Not only is it crucial to know how the job description has changed to this point, but it’s also important to forecast how the description might change in the future. In this fashion, you’ll be better able to identify candidates who fit the description now and have the potential to grow into whatever the company needs the position to become to achieve future growth.
#3—What “soft skills” should the new employee possess?
It’s not just about talent, abilities, and experience (the “hard skills).” It’s also about the “soft skills” or interpersonal skills. How well will the person have to interact with others? With how many people will they be required to interact? These questions must be answered so that the skill levels can be identified and you can hire a person who will meet the criteria and excel in the position.
#4—What behaviors are you seeking from the ideal candidate?
This might be the most important question you ask. That’s because skills and experience are nothing without corresponding behaviors that reflect the person’s ability to successfully apply those skills and that experience. What behaviors have they displayed that have allowed them to consistently achieve goals and exceed expectations?
#5—What is the ideal candidate’s desire for achievement?
What you want the candidate to achieve should match what the candidate wants to achieve. If your goals aren’t aligned, then you’ve automatically reduced your chances of hiring success. Determine what the ideal candidate would want not only within the open position you’re seeking to fill, but also in their career overall.
This illustrates how asking the right questions is critical to both identifying and hiring the right person for your organization.