Is hiring just an activity to fill a slot for you or do you want to have a person who brings significant capabilities to the table, not just fills the current JD demands but cantraverse the future unknown paths? If the answer is latter, you need to get involved, emotionally and personally.
A wrong hire or even an average one, just fitting the JD person can make you regret quickly, especially when organizations are struggling to cope up with the rapidly changing eco-system. Will this girl or guy can work with future upcoming firms who one day will become Tesla, Airbnb, Uber, Instagram of today?
You may want to consider this….
Are you hiring for yourself or is it just an activity for you? Big difference, if latter, just find a person who fits the current JD, easy game. But for former, you want this person to ideate, innovate, think and drive stuff which even you cannot image now, so consider aiming higher and beyond the JD.
You would need to develop your style and here is a broad way to manage it in 4 distinct phases (order is not important, rather you should do in the way you feel comfortable):
- Professional exchange and level setting –
This is much more relevant for senior level positions where both the parties are making a heavy investment in the process and should be respectful of each other’s time.
It would be quite professional and respectful to give a lay of the land of the organizational, the function, business context, the vision and how this role is expected to impact the business. This is your chance to make sure the person understands the complexities of the role, the richness, the difficulties, the challenges, the potential as well as some of the not so glamorous dimensions of the role. It is so crucial to be as transparent as possible to make sure that the other person knows what he/ she is getting into and you don’t have an unpleasant situation 3 months down the line, you hear “I didn’t sign-up for this”.
In the same breadth, be very clinical and go through the professional life including academics, so that you can get a rich picture and you can start relating to your organization, stakeholders and the role itself. Keep asking questions like..” what would you like to say in addition to what you mentioned in the cv?”
“which of these projects you are most proud of and would like to talk about?”
And if you hear bits which are similar to what happens in the role, time to dive in deep.
- A quick caution…. Your biases!
You may be prone to form an opinion, building it up from your inherent biases, which could be very common and most people will struggle to acknowledge them. Age, gender, ethnicity are still too common (surprise, surprise…) but also, more subtle and personal like a person with manufacturing background cannot do sales or consulting or a strategy person cannot be your talent partner. Please keep your mind open and do not let biases draw a conclusion early in the process.
- And a tip…..a scoring sheet
It can be very productive and great for tracking and measuring different candidates, so list all your criteria and score each candidate, you may not always pick the one with the top score but it narrows the decision to usually a couple of strong candidates
Post this, comes up the actual challenge, assessing beyond academia and technicalities of work! This is when you test the candidate on how she/he will handle various real scenarios, the real traits that help you understand the person not just as a candidate but as a mature professional, leader and a human being. So, stay tuned, for my next blog and discover the remaining 3 steps to hire the right one!