Are you hiring the best people available?
First impression is the best impression! Remember this age-old adage where one is exhorted to put forward one’s best in all situations, even more so during an interview. For no matter how long the interview lasts, the interviewer gauges the candidate in the first 10-20 seconds itself. Most recruiters have a gut feel about participants and they continue the rest of the interview trying to confirm the same. However, have you stopped to think why you are doing this? And if you are doing the right thing? If you want to make sure you’re hiring the best people, try any of these strategies or all of them:
#1 Have structured interviews
Most interviews are subjective and hence highly discriminatory. Having a structured interview is fair to both the candidate and the interviewer. But, many still shy away from doing so because it involves a lot of work prior to the interview. Take down notes when you interview. This would be of immense help later when you can use those notes to check the performance of the candidate you hired and to see if you were right. The notes will also come in handy when you need a third opinion on the matter.
#2 Find out how they are to work with
Most interview processes are designed to find the people with the right skills. Unfortunately, the processes don’t shed light on how the new hires will perform once they are on the rolls of the company. This is important because besides skills, actual performance also depends on how well the candidate collaborates with others, adapts to uncertainty and learns. Hence, avoid questions like “What is your biggest strength and what’s your biggest weakness”. Instead, focus on combining behavioural and situational structured interviews with assessments of cognitive ability, conscientiousness and leadership.
#3 Rethink sourcing and diversity
A simple rule of thumb is not to hire your own clones. We all have a tendency to hire like-minded people. It is inbuilt in us. Make sure to spread your net to streams in which you normally don’t fish. You will end up having more qualified, diverse and skilled pools of candidates, who can hold their own in terms of uncertainty. Another rule of thumb to consider is to look if the pool of people coming into your company is better, quality-wise, than the current number of people in the company.
#4 Keep looking for talent, even when you don’t need them
In this highly competitive world, you cannot afford to turn people away for the lack of positions. When good candidates do express interest in your company, evaluate how your recruiting team reaches out to them and keeps them in the loop. Policies change overnight, so do the minds of people who already work for you. Find a way/process to keep potential candidates warm so that when a need does arise, you can quickly fill the gap. Have at least three candidates ready for each position so that there is a greater selection of choices.
#5 Use the SWAN formula
Named after executive recruiter John Swan, SWAN stands for Smart, Works Hard, Ambitious and Nice. These four letters combine to form a practical prescription for hiring. Successful people are smart and such people would always want to work hard. They don’t lose interest just because the job demands more time. Hire those candidates who are eager to prove themselves and are ambitious about their assignment. Last but not the least, find people who are positive, cheerful and easily get along with others.
#6 Be unpredictable in your approach
We have all attended interviews. Sometimes, we give interviews for the heck of it and also to see how companies are evolving their strategies as well in terms of their questions and approaches. Hence, you need to be unpredictable. Call the candidate before or after the scheduled time. Get the candidate to solve actual problems. Ask them the same questions over and over again. These steps will help you identify the right people as it would help you understand their approach to such scenarios.
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