Hiring someone into your company is a difficult process. There are so many things to consider and probably many applicants to sift through. The choice becomes even harder when you finally narrow it down to a few outstanding candidates. How do you choose? It can be as hard as picking between flavors of ice cream, they both look so good and tasty, but what if the one you picked isn’t as good as it looks?
Unlike certain ice cream shops though there are a few ways you can “taste-test” your candidates to make sure they are a good fit for your company.
1. Job requirements
First and most important, are they able to do the job at hand? Chances are if they’ve reached the final stage of consideration then their resumes are spot on, they’ve passed their interviews and are pretty qualified. You should take a deeper look though and see if there are there any unique skills that one of them has over the other that could potentially benefit the company. These are like the toppings on the ice cream, you want to pick the one that has more and what you are looking for! For example, maybe a candidate has some project management experience that will give him a head start on the project manager promotion that comes next in your success plan. Or a candidate may have coding experience that could allow them to branch off toward the engineering path of your company's pathways. Maybe they had a job within your industry where they interacted with your company’s and competitor's products cutting down on the training requirements for the current position. Whether their skills be technical, leadership, or sales based, search it out and measure their proficiency.
The skills they have right now could indicate their growth potential within the company. Make sure to take the long term plan into consideration here and think about what opportunities will be available in the future for the candidates. Keep in mind your company’s succession planning and the jobs that this position will eventually lead into. Within the first year, how well do you see them doing the job on the next level?
2. Company Culture
Chances are you’ll be seeing whomever you hire on a daily basis. How well do you think they’ll get along with you and your other workers in the office? Just because they are qualified to do the work doesn’t always make them the best person for the job. This is where soft skills come into play and could be a major factor in making your decision. How they work with others and communication between other employees is going to be important if they plan on staying with your company in the long-term.
Some people may say to consider whether you would mind being around them outside of work as well, but the key thing is whether they fit IN the workplace and culture you’ve built in your company. If needed, invite them back for another interview and get the opinion of someone else in the company or higher up than yourself. Interaction with other staff within your organization could clear things up on which candidate fits the best.
The types of questions they ask in the hiring process can also determine if they will be the right fit for your company. We had a candidate who asked questions about promotion time-periods, pay raises, and how long lunches was. Initially, we thought the candidate was just being thorough. Blinded by the candidate’s experience and well laid-out suggestions for our company, we hired him. A few months into working with this candidate, we found that he was not willing to work outside of his job scope aka be a team player, and was more concerned about getting a pay raise than the quality of his work. Needless to say, that employee did not last long in our company. Had we paid closer attention to what he was asking or rather saying between the lines, we would have saved time and money in the process.
3. Skills Test
They can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? Often times, a person will look perfect on paper, but they’ll freeze up when it comes time to actually delivering on a project or completing a task. Luckily, there’s a way to assess their abilities to complete their assignments through our software.
Create a challenge from ProSky to and see how well your applicants do. In these challenges, you can assign something that candidates will encounter in the position they are applying for. Looking to release a new product soon? Have your applicants do a “market research” challenge researching product features already out on the market. They could also study trends and influencers in your niche and turn in their results as an online presentation. Other challenges could include:
SWOT analyses with recommendations for company improvements
Promotional marketing finding websites, blogs, and channels to promote your business
Social Media challenge finding new ways to increase social media followings.
Email campaign to establish new international distributors.
Not only will these challenges help you evaluate their skills in a real-world experience and allow them to familiarize themselves with their future job, they’ll also benefit your company in specific measurable ways. Things to consider when grading applicant submissions are the quality, creativity and total time to complete the task.
After you’ve done all you can do, trust your instincts when picking between candidates. At this point in the selection process, you’ll probably end up with a great new employee no matter which one you pick! As an employer, do your part to make your company a place that your new hire will want to stay and work in with plenty of room for growth and improvement. Worst case is your new hire doesn’t work out, and there are other ways to deal with that situation if it comes to it.