As managers we are under a constant pressure to hire. Having right people is what allows us to get our job done. This pressure comes from all sides – customers, managers, and other employees. Right fit, technical skills, seniority, salary requirements, and personality – all of this makes it for a complex process. One way to simplify it is to look at the hiring as somewhat of casting call. A process similar to what a candidate would go through if they wanted to appear on a TV show or take a part in a movie. You are not looking a person with one or another skillset or a certain personality. You are a director and you are moving for someone who fits your vision of a role.
We will begin with the Skills Cast. There are certain tasks and activities that your new job will be required to accomplish. While you are recruiting, you will be carefully analyzing each candidate for indications that they will have the necessary experience to accomplish the duties and responsibilities that the position requires. Here is the stage where you will review their background, experience, and credentials to make sure that they will be a good match.
Next is the Talent Cast, where things can get interesting. Here is where you begin to see more of the individual and who they are. You are trying to assess their performance levels, strengths, and how well they can “grow” into the position. Not everyone is a perfect employee right out of the box, but their talents are what will allow them to quickly match your needs perfectly. This is a more complicated phase and I recommend that you use a manager with a higher interviewing skill.
The last is the Personality Cast. This phase is complex and possibly even more difficult than the Talent Cast. When recruiting, the analysis of personal qualities is even more important than the current skill set. Analyze each candidate’s personality traits, behavioral patterns, and style. You need to make sure that both the new hire and the current employees are going to be able to get along with each other. During this process it is also important to remember that the people interview differently than they work as well. Although they are nervous, they may open up quickly as they become comfortable with the working environment. Watch out for anger and casting blame though, they can act as an early warning system for a difficult employee.
When creating your interviewing team, there are a few processes that should be clearly outlined from the start. The entire interviewing team should have a clear focus on the “must-haves”, or certain requirements that cannot be compromised under any circumstance these we will call Stop Lights. Concessions can be made where you are willing to make tradeoffs such as x number of years of experience for x number of years of school. This is important to keep everyone in agreement and able to select the best candidate for the position based on shared common goals.
Finally, remember that the candidate is also going to be judging you and your organization. As an interviewing manager, you are expected to have the skills to know which questions to ask and although you may not be able to provide the finely tuned technical details of the position, you should have a decent understanding of the part of the organization for which the position is available. Be ready for some questions that they may ask you.
These are just the basics. Let your interview flow naturally and don’t follow a pre-programmed script. You are hiring a person and you need to take this opportunity to get to know a candidate from every angle possible. Be open-minded. Remember they must fit your vision and sometime your vision may change based on great talents you find.