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Three secrets to hiring the right candidate for the role

Abhijit Bhaduri
25th Sep 2017
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Your company has opportunities opening up and you are on the hiring panel, here are three characteristics to assess when hiring someone.

Assessing talent is one of the toughest decisions organizations have to make. Most people like to believe that if they trust their gut about a candidate, they will be able to hire the right person. Nothing could be further from the truth. Human beings look at the world through their filters. These are biases they bring in while assessing talent.

Since we spend all our life interacting with human beings it gives us an illusion that we are constantly improving our ability to assess performance and potential. That becomes our basis for hiring.

Having accurate measurements for performance is tough enough; measuring the potential for future roles is tougher.

Skill improvement is not a function of quantity

Just because someone has interviewed thousands of candidates does not mean that their skills of assessing talent have been improving. All of us have been writing for years, yet not everyone's handwriting is legible or appealing. Assessing candidates needs to be learned.

What makes someone an effective hire?

The most effective employees are the ones who know their subject matter in depth. There is always so much we all need to know on a daily basis to stay on top of our field. Organizations reward employees who go above and beyond. They work hard to get the job done and take accountability of tasks that are assigned to them. They are people who everyone wishes to have on their team because we enjoy working with them. They care about others’ opinions. They say things that motivate and energise others and have high levels of emotional intelligence and social skills.

Characteristics to assess

What makes someone an effective hire boils down to three characteristics- Do they have the knowledge to do the job? Are they motivated to work hard? Do they have social skills that will make it easy for them to work with others?

  1. Are they learners and problem solvers?Assess for actual problems that they will need to solve in the role. Ask them how they would go about solving it. Additionally, assess their approach to crisis management by giving them a problem that was solved and compare their approach to what was done.How do they react when faced with a question they do not know the answer to, do they attempt to bluff their way through?
  2. Are they willing to work hard?There may be deadlines to meet that need employees to extend beyond the usual. There may be a crisis with a team member that needs everyone to pitch in. We may need to do five drafts of an article. Or spend a day polishing up a five minute speech. Willingness to work hard matters. Please don't assess it by asking someone, "Do you work hard?" There is only one answer to that question... "Yes! I do..."
  3. Are they pleasant in their interactions with others?
  4. Ask them about their approach to building a team. Find out if they have coached someone or helped improve their team’s performance. How will they go about crafting a team at work? Have them meet some peers; there is tremendous value in peer assessments. Watch them deal with people who are less powerful - that usually is a good predictor of their behavior with team members.

The next time you are hiring someone look for ways to assess these characteristics. Then evaluate the actual performance with your interview notes.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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