Want to hire the right candidate? Here’s how.

“Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.” — Howard Schultz

Simply couldn’t agree more with one of my favorite business tycoons ever! In many of my marketing conferences and meet-ups, I have often discussed asked the industry experts, “How do you hire” and trust me I have found these discussions so insightful because, after years of interviewing countless job candidates, I and they’ve learned the best approaches to get right to the core of who a candidate is and how he/ she will work with a team.

Since ages, we know that a typical job interview is all about a one-on-one formal interaction in a conference room and a pristine resume along with the standard questions: “Where do you want to be in five years? What do you consider your biggest failure? What are your strengths and weaknesses?” etc.

The strategy is to go beyond the polished résumés and typical QnA session through trial and error method. In order to hire more creative and effective members for your team, you should be open to new ideas of hiring.

Now, before I jump on to the new-age ideas of hiring, I want to highlight the reason why employers across the globe need to change or update ways of hiring and make’em creative than ever before.

According to a crucial LinkedIn report about recruitment, demand for recruiting professionals has reportedly jumped by 63% since 2016, and the entire industry expects the trend to continue. Also by the year 2025, the recruitment processes will be totally different from the traditional ones in use currently.

(Image source- LinkedIn report: 7 Predictions on How Recruiting Will Be Different in 2025)

Also, similar data showed that we as employers have to get used to change our hiring plans according to the changing trends.

(Image source- LinkedIn report: 7 Predictions on How Recruiting Will Be Different in 2025)

At a time when creativity and talent get more weightage than ‘what’s on your resume’, how do you know what to look for?

Workplace expert Cameron Herold says, “Before you get what you want, you have to know what you want”. In order to ease this up, he suggests two steps to help figure it out:

· Identify the five core behavioral traits you want your employees to have for a specific role.

· Consider the skills they will need to perform the same job. Don’t just think about what you have on the job description instead think of the five primary tasks you need them to accomplish in the first year.

Listing down your priorities will give you a clear roadmap. Here’s a small compilation of some simple yet extremely effective tips to hire the right of kind of candidate you are looking for. I have compiled them on the basis of collected data and my personal experience of over 13 years in digital marketing.

1) Look for the candidate’s problem-solving ability: Besides experience and skills, look for the candidate’s adaptive nature since change is the only constant now. So, give them some real-life situations so that they can show their flexibility and ability to handle the situation promptly.

For example: For a marketing professional’s job profile, ask them how they would design a marketing plan for the launch of a cosmetic product with a new branding that wasn’t successful earlier. Tell them to describe the solution in not more than 1500 words. By discussing their thinking, you’ll verify both their skills as well as their behavior to approach the issue.

2) Look for their caliber in their comfort zone: Give them a project to complete from their field of expertise and check their level of performance. Look if they know how to create a decent output with limited resources sans giving any excuses. Because ‘give solutions, everyone else can raise problems’.

For example: Ask the candidates applying for a web designer profile to design a microsite for you. Don’t give them any timeline instead let them get back to you while you compare their work, delivery timelines, their curiosity levels of raising questions/ doubts, and patience of doing so.

1) Check about their passion and hobbies: Take the shortlisted candidates out for lunch or coffee so that they can shed the formal way of interaction away from the interview zone. Their area of interest apart from their profession gives a fair idea about their views on the social world, people, and relationships. This might sound unimportant, but creative communicators are the key to ‘spirited workplaces’.

For example: If you are hiring a client servicing person and he/ she is an avid traveler that means he/ she is amazing at interpersonal interactions. And that’s an added advantage to the profile.

2) Let them ask you questions while you listen carefully: Are they curious enough? Are they lit up with questions apart from the regular ones during the interview? Because a great employee should become a learner first. And a great learner should be voraciously curious in order to show high productivity and out of the box ideation process.

For example: Suppose, you are looking for creative writers. In order to write creative, insightful copy, one needs to understand things clearly because that’s what will reflect in the writing. Otherwise, it will evidently look superficial. So, if the candidates aren’t curious enough, they can be good writers but not great writers.

3) Get feedback from others in the office: Ask your team members to take the shortlisted candidates for an office tour or let them interact for one casual session just like that. Eyes and ears when you’re out of sight can be invaluable.

See, it’s a simple theory, the person whom you are hiring today could be a leader/ employer tomorrow. So make your recruitment process relevant to the role so as to hire the best candidate and not just the candidate who is brilliant at the interview.

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15 Years in Digital Marketing & Technology | Currently in E-commerce, Digital Assets, and Metaverse space | Expertise in business growth & team management

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Agam Chaudhary

Agam Chaudhary

15 Years in Digital Marketing & Technology | Currently in E-commerce, Digital Assets, and Metaverse space | Expertise in business growth & team management

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