Smart hire cover

It’s not 2019 anymore. Hiring smart in corporate America means fishing in a smaller sea.

Robust organizations always comprehend the importance of hiring smart. They know perfect skill sets don’t always equate to a perfect fit.

No Apples are Better Than a Bad Apple

Making the wrong decision is costly, time-consuming, and damages the spirit of the culture. Organizations must be creative yet commit to their ideology in searching for talent. 

Lee Cockerell is the retired Executive VP of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort. He frequently addresses the issue in his podcast. 

“It can become frustrating to deal with the extra work that comes from an empty position,” he says. “But hiring the wrong person will create even more work.”

Are You Motivated?

It is a new pandemically challenged world, and employees want to feel valued. Employers must understand the candidate’s goals. What’s in it for them? Are their goals aligned with yours? 

At the same time, it’s their business and their team. They need questions answered. Does this candidate understand expectations? Are they motivated?

Hiring expert Carol Quinn wrote the book, Motivation–based Interviewing: A Revolutionary Approach to Hiring the Best.

“To hire well, interviewers must have a greater understanding of motivation,” she writes. A value she stresses is the importance of being “able to correctly distinguish those who are genuinely self-motivated from those who will need to be motivated.”

Skills are essential, but she adds passion and attitude as hallmarks of a good fit. “It’s not how eager a person is to get the job, but how eager the person is to do the job.”

Five Factors for Hiring Smart

Michelle Mahony wrote a recent story for the Harvard Business Review. It presents five factors for hiring smart :

  • A holistic link to your purpose: Candidates look for companies with a higher purpose.
  • A culture of belonging, flexibility, and growth: Attractive organizations encourage inclusion and help people grow. 
  • Look inside and create a movement: Involving your team in the creative process and allowing them to voice ideas brings value.
  • Authentic and human. Emphasize who you are: Candidates care about social issues and where the company stands.
  • Words must match the experience: Turnaround will be constant if the environment doesn’t match what you profess.

Are You Walking into a Healthy Culture?

Prospective employees also become frustrated determining what a company wants. Graphic designer John Celotta of St. Cloud, FL, attests there is no shortage of job posts in his field. However, he has yet to land a job after moving to Florida four months ago. 

“My ideal setting is a creative environment,” he says. “A busy and friendly team.”

He says job posts are often generic, and companies are slow to respond, if at all. 

Five Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Does the company communicate respectfully? 
  • Do you get the impression they genuinely want to meet you? 
  • Do they maintain current social media?
  • Does it seem like a healthy culture? (Read reviews)
  • Does their website make sense, or does it seem sketchy?

People Skills Over Technical Skills

Leadership IQ is a training and employee engagement survey company. It presents a ten-year study concluding 46 percent of new hires fail within 18 months. People skills, as opposed to technical skills, are the primary reason, accounting for 89 percent of hiring failures. 

Their failure rate breaks down as follows:

  1. Coachability (26 percent): The ability to accept and implement feedback from others.
  2. Emotional Intelligence (23 percent): Understanding your emotions and the emotions of others.
  3. Motivation (17 percent): Sufficient drive to achieve full potential and excel.
  4. Temperament (15 percent): Attitude and personality suited to the job and environment.
  5. Technical Competence (11 percent): Functional or technical skills required to do the job.

Take Your Time, Get It Right

Naturally, different industries have contrasting needs. Finding the right employee for a construction company differs from searching for a software engineer. To borrow an old expression posted at construction sites; Measure twice, cut once.

Hiring smart means taking the time to find a motivated employee, one who fits the culture, and one who can do the job.

Take your time. Get it right.

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