Imagine this — you need to hire for a position in your company because one of your employees is retiring.
What do you do when hiring new employees? Do you think about what would set them apart or do you consider what you need for the position? Do you think about your company culture and look for a good fit?
A lot of the discussion about Hillary Clinton revolves around the idea that she would be the first woman President. Okay. That may be true. But is that a reason to hire her? Or is that a statement people want to make? I ask because, in my opinion, it only works if she’s the best woman to be President. Being female, alone, is not a criteria.
So how does this apply to business?
It speaks to how we make hiring decisions. Many times we hire people we like, only to find out that they are ill-equipped to perform. I believe this is because of what we look toward as the deciding factors.
When hiring new employees we should apply these three principles:
- Cultural fit: This is the most important part of the hiring process. The new person has to fit with your culture or they’ll never make it. And you’ll never be happy with them. Understand what your company culture is, what matters to you, and how you expect your employees to contribute to maintaining that culture. Then — and this is critical — select an interview question or two that will help you determine if the person really fits your culture. Asking the prospective employee to share how they’d deal with a situation can shed light on who they really are.
- Skill set: Make sure the person has at least the foundation for the skill set you need in the position. When someone has the right attitude you can train them for function. However, for the smoothest onboarding experience they should have some ability in the area of need. And remember that there are some positions where the person will have to have knowledge and experience, as well as proper certifications.
- Goals: Yours and theirs. It’s important, in my opinion, to make sure you are clear about what the company’s goals are as well as what the candidate’s goals are. The best possible case is when those goals coincide. It’s also important that the candidate understand the company goals and how they will impact him or her.
You can see that hiring is about who the person is in relationship to the position and the company, not as a singular thing. You serve your company well when you stay away from criteria that really don’t have anything to do with the person’s ability to do the job. Focus instead on whether the person would be right for the position and you contribute to the company as a whole.
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