Hire the "Best Fit" for your next job opening


When you have employment cutbacks, and as a result, have less people on your team, everyone’s contribution becomes even more important. This is why it is critical to take the time to select the “best fit” when you finally have a job opening on your team and are hiring a new employee.

We’ve learned from experience that when you hire someone who is obviously not a good fit for the job or the organization, telling the person early on, saves time, frustration, etc., on everyone’s part. When the situation is not so obvious however, it can be quite uncomfortable. Even though each party may eventually come to the same conclusion, both parties may make great attempts to make it work, investing more time, more pain, etc. My intention is not to be discouraging, but instead to be encouraging. Selecting a candidate who is a “best fit” is a skill that can be learned. With just a few shifts in your interviewing process, you can improve the way you select talent and ultimately enhance the productivity and cohesiveness of your team.

Start with a clear assessment of the “ideal” qualities that define a best fit for your job opening:

1) Write out a detailed job description, as well as a list of the qualities you are looking for in a new employee (i.e., organizational and time management skills, composure under pressure, team player, professional telephone skills, ability to work with clients, etc.) Clearly defining these will help you design the best questions to ask in the interview.

2) Choose five of the most important qualities from your list and create two behavior-based interview questions for each of these five qualities. Behavior-based questions ask for a specific example from a past job where the person demonstrated the quality in a “real life” situation. This will give you insight to the qualities he/she actually possesses and will most likely demonstrate in your job. (Past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior.)

3) Instead of asking a closed-ended (yes/no) question such as, “Are you good with clients?” ask, “Tell me about a time when you were with a client and they demanded something you were not sure you could deliver?” A second question might be, “Give me an example of an interaction you had with a client when you turned a difficult situation into a positive one?” The candidate’s responses will give you a concrete picture and allow you to determine if he/she works well with clients.

By asking ten behavior-based questions, (two for each of the five qualities) as well as specific questions about the applicant’s job experience and technical skills, you will have a strong understanding of the candidate and the attributes he/she will bring to your job.

While behavioral questioning is not a guarantee, it certainly will tip the odds in your favor to select the “best fit” for your job, your team and your organization!

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Ignite Friday, February 4, 2011 @ 11:30 AM   0 Comments

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