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Recruiting Wrongs and Avoiding Them: Making the Right Hire

Making the perfect hire

Recruiting Wrongs and Avoiding Them: Making the Right Hire

There is almost nothing harder than finding the right new hire for your team. Do they fit interpersonally? Will they be able to align with the mission? Do they have enough experience, or too much? Can they integrate into the culture? A dozen questions bombard the hiring manager as they meet each candidate. Unfortunately, the right candidate can be blurred by unimportant noise, or the wrong candidate can rise to the top for the wrong reasons.

Here then, are five tips on making the right hire:

Making the perfect hire

Consensus can cause confusion: While it’s tempting, especially in a smaller organization to have a group vote on a job applicant, this won’t always result in the right hire. Why? Sometimes a group vote becomes more of a commentary on likeability, and less about the person’s actual qualifications. Or, a more senior person may have disproportionate influence on others’ opinions, even if they won’t be working with the person as closely or aren’t well-suited to make the best assessment. Better to figure out who should weigh in, then to pan a larger group.

Low-balling can leave you lonely: Sometimes you simply have to pay for what you want. Companies who offer the right candidate the wrong compensation can go home empty-handed. While it’s important to understand your budget and conform to it, it’s equally important to recognize the market rate for what you are looking for. Making the right hire could mean a larger up front investment and recognizing the long term value of that employee. You really do get what you pay for.

Be sure you know what you want: Before you even begin to interview candidates, be sure that you have a strong sense of what you really need. This means both a careful assessment internally of what the right candidate looks like, and a thoughtful description of that job profile in postings or communicated to recruiters. And don’t underestimate the soft skills – some argue that traits like character and integrity should trump any technical skills.

Know thy (future) employee. In the information age, there is no excuse for not doing thorough background checks on potential hires. Not only is it easy and cost-effective to do traditional diligence such as criminal checks, you can also quickly survey someone’s social media profiles.

[bctt tweet=”Poor decisions with regards to Facebook and Twitter should be considered when making the right hire – good judgment is good judgment, no mater the context.”]

Understand their past. Read someone’s resume or LinkedIn profile for what it doesn’t say, not just what it does say. If there are long gaps of time between employers, get underneath the story there. Conversely, if the person has a history of a lot of short term employment periods with a myriad of companies, beware of someone who won’t make a long term commitment to you.

Take your time and do your research.

A company’s greatest asset is their people, and you don’t want to compromise on quality by reacting to pressure to get a body into a seat. Instead, be thoughtful about understanding what you want, and assessing each candidate as a long term commitment, because ideally, they are. Use a mix of empirical evidence, but also trust your gut. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the pay off.