Hiring Isn’t An Exact Science

Hiring Isn't An Exact Science | Pivotal Talent Search

Hiring is not a perfect science. Pick your non-negotiables in a candidate – then expect to adapt to make things work.

The cost of hiring the wrong person can be staggering. In today’s job market, competition for the right person is fierce. That’s why it’s important to come up with a unique “secret sauce” to identify the right person when you find them – and pass on the wrong ones. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the hiring process:

Determine your non-negotiables.

Studies show that businesses can significantly reduce “bad hires” by screening candidates against a list of non-negotiables. These are the essential traits any candidate must have to succeed in your unique company and culture. Before beginning the interview process, it’s important that you (the company) have a clear, agreed upon list of these non-negotiables. You’ll find it very difficult to score a candidate who meets your standard without identifying the standard first.

One of your non-negotiables will likely include prior experience in a similar position. A track record of success at a comparable job is a good gauge of success in a new one. But remember that finding a candidate who fits the bill means more than evaluating work history. Hiring is all about people! Resumes are a tool to help you find the right ones, but not the end all be all. Be prepared to weigh job-specific skills against personal characteristics and soft skills. Sometimes (always) it’s worthwhile to invest in training the right person with less experience than hiring the more qualified candidate with the bad attitude.

Here are some valued personal characteristics that just can’t be taught:

  • Creative
  • Ambitious
  • Committed
  • Trustworthy
  • Respectful
  • Loyal

Here’s how to determine if your candidate has these traits. 

Be prepared with a list of open-ended questions prior to your interview. It’s easy to run out of things to discuss or forget to ask relevant questions if you go in cold. Each state also has unique regulations regarding types of question that are actually illegal to ask in hiring. For instance, a company cannot ask for a candidate’s age, nationality, military status, marital status or questions regarding pregnancy or children. It’s easy for these things to slip into a comfortable interview – especially those over lunch or dinner. Preparing questions ahead of time helps prevent the conversation from devolving into a “chat session.” Your questions may differ if you’re conducting an in-person, phone or working interview. Make sure your prepared questions are specific to each circumstance.

Some questions to ask.

Open-ended questions will help you get to the core of who your candidate is and find those non-negotiable traits. Prompt them to share situations that demonstrate the personal characteristics your company values. Does the job require excellent customer service skills? Ask how your potential hire handled difficult customers in the past. Their answers will tell you a lot about how they problem solve and deal with stress. You can also ask about a great work-related success, learning style, business philosophy and potential areas of improvement.

Adapt to make things work. 

No one is perfect. Even a candidate with all the non-negotiable traits is likely to have a few less than ideal ones. Don’t we all? Be prepared to adapt to your new employee and provide everything he or she needs to adapt to your business. Providing both help and clear expectations from the get-go will help your new hire meet you in the middle and avoid issues down the road. Research shows that companies with new-hire training programs decrease turnover significantly. The ultimate goal of employee onboarding is familiarizing an employee with the unique qualities of your company culture and processes so they feel comfortable with the new position and expectations.

This process begins before the new employee arrives. Provide a clear job description that corresponds with the reality of their new position. Ensure his or her workspace and all necessary equipment is ready before the official start date. Prepare all necessary documents and informational materials needed to begin.

When your employee arrives for their first day of work, acquaint them with the layout of your office and their workspace. Inform them of any rules or internal regulations and introduce them to colleagues, managers, and teammates. In the first week your new hire should start to become familiar with administrative systems, standards of work, and their daily responsibilities.

Pivotal Talent Search takes 99.9% of the hiring work off your plate. We’ll provide candidates with many of those non-negotiable traits you’re looking for and more. However, the final decision is always up to you! With these hiring tools in your back pocket, we know you’ll find success.

Want to learn more? 

If you have any more questions about best practices in hiring or how Pivotal can make the process easier for you – contact a recruiter today or call (646) 656-1091.