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Thou Shalt Judge

03 Aug 2017 by

When it comes to hiring, so many factors are at play. From looking at resumes and conducting interviews to judging the candidate throughout the process, looking for that “A player” is not a process to be taken lightly. Each factor should be thought of as a weight, each having its own place in one tray of a scale. But, factors for hiring don’t all weigh the same. So, before setting up the scale, you must identify what the factors are and what weight to give them.

It’s difficult to make judgements about a person having only met him or her for a short time. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a system in place to take full advantage of your time with the candidate. The following are three important factors to help you get to that crucial decision point.

Impact to the Business

Every person in an organization impacts the business. Of course the impact is supposed to be positive, but we all know there are employees that cause more problems than they solve. Is your candidate one or the other? Don’t be afraid to dig in! Ask detailed questions about work relationships, projects, transitions, teamwork, work ethic. I love to ask applicants about successful projects from their past jobs. In particular, projects that added actual dollars and cents to the bottom line. I once knew a truck driver who was convinced the company was spending too much on tires. He finally spoke up and leadership listened, saving the company tens of thousands of dollars. These details paint the beginning of a picture, but just the beginning.

Impact to the business should be a pretty heavy weight when you are making your final decision. After all, if the employee isn’t helping the company grow, or worse, is making it harder for other employees to do their jobs, it could be a serious problem.

Qualifying the Candidate

Obviously, determining if the candidate is qualified is another important factor. However, this process is fraught with error.

Often times employers will decide before even meeting a candidate whether they are qualified. The immense pressure to fill a position could cause them to overlook flaws in a candidate that should disqualify them early on. Choosing to discount a candidate before meeting them could result in a missed opportunity to hire a rockstar. Open mindedness is key when recruiting.

Once you feel you have ejected all bias and most of your emotion, give this factor its weight. Maybe it’s more important that the candidate has great character, or that they are willing to learn, that it is to be fully qualified for the position. Decide how important this factor is before putting it on your scale.

Personality and Culture Fit

Remember this: a good personality is always subjective. Personality fit is somewhat of a misnomer. A company insistent on hiring one personality type because it is the type that “works around here,” is dangerous. A company should have a diverse collection of personalities, creating a symbiotic environment with multiple points of view. Make a note, personality fit should not be a factor.

Cultural fit, however, is something quite different. A company’s culture is established based on three things: policy, process and change. Two questions to ask yourself after the interview: Will this person impact our culture in a positive or negative way? And will this person thrive in our current culture?

Which factors weigh more than others? That is for you and your organization to decide. But once the weights are in the scale the decision must be made and communicated effectively. Remember, you are the judge, there is no jury and quality execution is key.

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