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Celebrating 50 years of Building High Performance Corporate Teams - 1971 to 2021

Hiring doesn’t have to be an uncertain process!

You may recall that I promised over the next 6 months to help you answer the following 6 questions:

  1. Who am I REALLY looking for?
  2. Where am I going to find him/her?
  3. How am I going to evaluate him/her?
  4. How am I actually going to hire him/her?
  5. How am I going to successfully “on-board” him/her?
  6. How am I going to retain him/her?

Question 1 – Who am I REALLY looking for?

In our 40 years of experience we have found that a successful long term hire must start with identifying who you REALLY are looking for. It is also our experience that this step is usually either overlooked, or simply assumed.

You need to start by asking the question “What do I need to get done?” (the “Job Specification”) before you can determine “What kind of person could do this?” (the more traditional “Job Description”).

Once you are crystal clear on the task, you then need to identify educational background, work experience and personality/character traits necessary for someone to be successful in the role.

It’s all about the fit!

Actually, once you know who you are looking for, you will easily be able to screen prospective candidates in terms of education and experience right from their resumes. What you can’t get from a resume is this fuzzy construct called “fit”. Consequently, firms often hire on the basis of education and experience, and fire 6 months later on the basis of fit – “Smith just didn’t work out, although I don’t know why”.

2 Tricks to figure out “Fit”

Here are 2 techniques to help you get a handle on “fit”. First, think back to the best person you have ever had in that role, and identify what you liked about him/her. Similarly, think back to some of the failures, and identify why they just didn’t make it. The other technique is to imagine yourself writing your successful new hire’s glowing first annual review, and complete the following thought: “Smith worked out really well because…”, and think about the underlying character traits that made him/her so successful.