Does Any Candidate Have Exactly The Right Skills?

The Right Person

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Well, that’s not really a fair question to ask.

You COULD run into people who are perfect in every way for your position.

And how often has that happened for you?

Taking a practical look at this, it’s likely you’re often involved in a juggling act with prospective employees:

  • You’ll have people in front of you with superb qualities coupled with mediocre qualities.
  • You’ll be running ads for weeks on end and interviewing until you’re blue in the face and you’ve got to get SOMEBODY in there.
  • You may get depressed that the right person just isn’t out there and conclude your local area has gone downhill when it comes to hiring quality staff.
  • You may want to email a picture of yourself to the American Oxford Dictionary so they can insert it next to the word “compromise” in their dictionary.

I’ve heard it all folks, and I do have a bit of advice here.

Hang in there. Actually, do more than hang in there. If you’ve got your mind made up that the right person isn’t out there or isn’t likely to come your way or if you’re veering in that direction, then


Yes, i know that sounds a bit patronizing. But I mean it. There is one thing all of us can do, and that’s change our mind.

Make a new decision (or rekindle an old decision):

Decide that a person with the right skills, the right personality and the right attitude is coming your way.

And decide that a few times, and when you feel a certain inertia or mental opposition kicking in when you make that decision, make the decision again. And again. Eventually the mental “stuff” will fade and eventually vanish.

You can accuse me of being airy-fairy if you like. Or…or you could apply what I’m suggesting here and see if I’m onto something.

To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.

If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.

What Do We Owe You?

Benefits, Incentives, Bonuses, Extras, Perks and Advantages

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

I’m going to love this tip and I haven’t even written it yet!

For the most part, we’ve got two sides of the hiring equation, right? We’ve got the employer and we’ve got the person wanting to be employed.

There may be a middle man, e.g. a hiring agency, but at some point in time, you are going to be interviewing someone before you make any kind of long term hiring decision.

Back in the day — let’s say before the 80s or 90s — when you applied for a job, you were essentially told what the job was, what it paid, the hours, some idea of what was expected and, if that worked for you, then you were included for consideration.

Unless you were someone very special, you did not make demands or issue ultimatums to your prospective employer. If and when you did get hired, you were given a place to work, assigned tasks, maybe some training and off you went to carry out your duties.

After getting hired, you did not wait a week or two and then tell your employer that you need X, Y and Z so that you can perform to your full potential. AND that, if you didn’t get X, Y and Z, you might have to shop your talents elsewhere.

Back in the day, that just didn’t happen.

Now I realize I’m painting somewhat of a black and white picture here, but I’m doing it to make a point.

Let’s fast forward to present time.

The scenario I just presented is certainly not occurring wholesale in today’s hiring world, but some parts of this scenario are happening. And we can debate how much the balance of power has shifted in the hiring process and whether that’s good for business or not. But that’s not the purpose of this tip. This tip has a simple focus. We just want to find out from the applicant:

“As an employer, what do we owe you?”

When you ask this question, as we recommend with all questions in the hiring interview, pay close attention to how comfortable the applicant is in answering it. If he’s very comfortable, then it’s likely you’re getting a candid answer. If not, well, possibly not so candid.

Once your applicant has answered the question and you’ve written down what he said, it can’t hurt to ask it again:

“What else do we owe you?”

Now, I’m not recommending that you ask these questions — or any questions for that matter — with even a hint of a confrontational attitude. We just want to know what they feel the company owes them.

Their answers may fit 100% with what you’d like to provide every employee. That’s good to know.

And their answers may surprise or even shock you. That’s also good to know.

Either way, you’re likely to gain an insight into what it will be like having this person as part of your team.

To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.

If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.

The People I Need Just Aren’t Out There!

Frustrated HR

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Is that how you feel?

Do you feel the type of person you are looking for JUST isn’t out there?

And by “type” of person, this means: doesn’t have the necessary technical skills; doesn’t have the right attitude or their résumé and interview didn’t make the grade.

Let’s look a bit more at these three categories:

They do not have the necessary technical skills

Okay, that’s more than fair. You need a trained auto mechanic or dental technician or software programmer and no one is applying for the job who has the skills you need. Or those applying are weak in your needed skill set.

They do not have the right attitude

We’ve covered this in a number of tips. For most of us, the applicant needs to have the right attitude.

If he comes in wearing torn jeans and a tee shirt, wants to know when he’ll be getting his first raise and insists he can’t work past 2PM — well, you may not be eager to hire this person.

Also included in having the right attitude is actually showing up for the hiring interview AFTER committing to do so.

We’ve all heard the hiring maxim: “you can train for skills; you can’t train for attitude.”

Yes, attitude is important.

Their résumé and interview didn’t make the grade

Well, no need to comment in depth here. You know what I mean.

So, what’s the point of this hiring tip?

Well, some of us — and I fear a growing number — have concluded the right person just isn’t out there.

Some of us haven’t gone completely into apathy on this point, but we are moving in that direction.

We’ve been through so many interviews that didn’t reveal a decent prospect.

We’ve experienced so many disappointments during the hiring process AND afterwards when the person we hired just didn’t work out. In some cases, the person we hired turned out to be vastly different than the person we originally interviewed.

So what to do?

I have three words for you.

Three simple words that may sound like I’m patronizing you, but I assure you I am not:

Change your mind.

If you get yourself in a place where you’ve concluded the right person just isn’t out there, or if you’re moving closer and closer to that mindset, this is a dangerous place for you.

If you make the hiring decisions for your company or if you have input on who gets hired and you are starting to believe the right people aren’t out there…

Change your mind.

This is not mysticism, folks. This is not an airy-fairy proposition that I’m making here.

If you feel that the right people aren’t going to come in and apply for key positions at your company, you are going to help fulfill that “prophecy.”

People like to be right. They also tend to see and “bend” life in various ways in order to be right.

So, if the hiring process has worn you down to where you don’t feel the right person skill-wise, attitude-wise or otherwise is out there for you, you will help that belief along. In ways that you can see and in ways you may not see, you will confirm the “fact” that the right person isn’t out there.

You may have someone come in that shows a flaw or two in his presentation, and yet could be a real gem. BUT, if you believe that the right person isn’t out there, you may not “see” this person fully. You may miss an opportunity.

I realize people need to be skilled for certain positions. And people need to come in and present themselves well and bring the right attitude with them.

I understand and agree with you there.

But if…

If you find yourself getting to a place where you do not feel the right person is out there or if you find yourself believing it’s just so much harder these days to find the right person…

Change your mind.

Do not lock yourself into that belief.

And do not let events be the determining factor to change your mind. In other words, don’t wait for that incredible person to show up before you change your mind about the kind of people that are out there.

YOU change your mind.

YOU decide the right person is out there.

You could even decide there are a ton of right people out there.

If you think my advice here is too impractical or idealistic when it comes to hiring the right people, I understand.

But I also know it’s great advice.

Remember, people like to be right and will “bend” life in various ways to be right. Well, decide the right people ARE out there and you’ll find yourself bending life a little here and a little there … and the right people will show up.

To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.

If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.

The Second Interview

Hiring interview

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

You’ve looked over his résumé, you’ve done a short phone interview and you’ve conducted your first serious hiring interview with him.

You like what you see so far and you want to bring him back for a second interview. It’s an important position and you want this to be a smart hire.

An interesting scenario may present itself in this second interview.

Both of you are likely to be more comfortable with each other and your applicant may “let his guard down.”

He may feel his chances of getting the job are greatly improved and may come in willing to be more informal, more open with you. He may even dress more casually for the second interview.

With the nervous jitters from the first interview gone, or at least significantly reduced, your applicant may answer your second interview questions more candidly.

A few examples:

“How do you see yourself fitting in here?”

“What would it take for you to be very happy working here?”

“Do you see yourself working here in one year? Five years?”

“Is this job a stepping stone for another job that you envision down the road?”

And of course there are quite a few other questions, many that are covered in previous tips, that can be asked in this second interview.

You may even re-ask a question or two that the first interview addressed, but you felt the answers were a bit rehearsed. The environment of the second interview may give you a new insight to those questions.

All in all, the second interview (and successive ones) can be VERY helpful. In some cases, the person in front of you is a different person than the one you met in the first interview. They are more comfortable, more “themselves” and more capable of helping you make the right decision.

I’d like to give a “hat tip” to David Jensen, whose book The Naked Interview was helpful in putting this tip together.

To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.

If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.

How Do They Treat Other People?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

How will your prospective employee treat your customers and other staff?

Will they be friendly, helpful and appreciative?

Or will they be tactless, dispassionate and cynical?

And how can you tell ahead of time?

Well, one can test for personality traits. Our 200 question test will get you past the usual social responses and give you unexpected insights into your prospect’s personality.

So of course I recommend using our test.

But what else can you do?

You could take your applicant around the office or store and introduce him to a few of the staff. Let your staff know ahead of time that you might be doing this and ask them to take a minute or two and “engage” — ask a few questions, maybe even be a bit disarming.

One example might be an employee looking startled that the person is interested in a job there and asking, “Are you sure you want to work here? The boss is a decent chap, but the pay and perks aren’t so great.” Maybe this gets said within earshot of the boss, or maybe not.

A disarming question or two may reveal something about your applicant that you might not otherwise see.

While you’re walking around, observe how your applicant deals with each person they come into contact with, not just your staff. If you use the elevator, does he hold the door open for others; does he acknowledge the existence of the doorman; the receptionist?

Maybe you go out for a coffee — how does he treat the barista?

Whatever interaction you can observe, take it all in and evaluate.

And remember our motto:

The more you know about someone BEFORE you hire them, the better your hiring decision will be.

To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.

If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.

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