Your business has been growing, and over time your employees have taken on more responsibilities. They’ve grown into their roles, but now it’s time to consider hiring someone to join the team. You’ve advertised the position and put some feelers out among your network of professionals in the industry. Now what? Here are some tips to help you make a solid hiring decision. 

Slow & Steady
Good hiring decisions aren’t typically made in a single day, or maybe even a single week. Take your time and realize that if this particular round of candidates doesn’t produce a promising hire, then the next likely will. Hiring isn’t a race, and patience is crucial. 

Before interviewing candidates, ensure you have a firm grasp of your company’s culture. The right candidate will be someone who can transition into your team and contribute to that culture rather than butt heads with it. Candidates will most likely be considering this as well and will be looking for signs during the interviewing process that they’ll be a good fit. 

Another thing to consider is having a clear idea of how this position may evolve over the next few years. What responsibilities will it eventually take on? It’s essential to be looking ahead as you consider candidates. What skills are they coming with, and what skills are they looking to develop in their career? How do they view the trajectory of their career? Does the evolution of the position align with the candidate’s long-term goals?

Interviews
You’ve had several candidates apply, but now it’s time to get down to business and start interviewing. You have several candidates with impressive resumes; however, there’s more to a candidate than what’s on paper, right? 

Any serious and well-prepared candidate will be able to answer the usual questions about where they see themselves in ten years, strengths and weaknesses, and why they want the position. Those questions, while valid, often receive scripted and well-rehearsed responses. To break away from that, get creative. Remember, the goal is to get to know the individual, not just get answers to the questions. Here are a few unusual questions you can ask.

  • If you could be any animal you wanted, what animal would you be, and why?
    Their answer can provide you with insights into the candidate’s values and level of self- awareness. The explanation they give to an unusual, seemingly silly question like this can also demonstrate their ability to think on their feet. 
  • What traits of your parents do you admire the most?
    Everyone has been influenced by their parents in some way. Sometimes we’re more like them than we care to admit. Answers can reveal personality traits of the candidate. 
  • What misconception do people commonly have about you?
    Again, you’re looking at self-awareness and in reality, if people perceive the candidate in a certain way, then there’s a reason for that perception.

Get them out of the office or away from your desk to get to know them. Meet for lunch somewhere. This will allow you to see how they interact with others. Are they courteous to waitstaff? Do they get easily flustered or irritated by problems? Can they keep the conversation going? These skills will be important in a team atmosphere where collaboration is required. 

If you can’t share a meal, at least take them for a tour of the workplace. This can help you assess whether they’re genuinely interested in the job. Are they curious? Do they ask questions about the work? Do they show interest in what other employees are doing? This can help you decide whether the person is a good fit for the company. Ask yourself if you would want to work for them if the roles were reversed

It’s All About Who You Know
You already have a talented pool of employees. Have them ask around to see if anyone they know would be a good fit and encourage them to apply. Chances are if you’re employees are great employees, they know others who would be as well. Also, when you interview a candidate, have them spend some time with your current employees. This can give both you and the candidate real insight into whether the position is right for them. They will have to work with the person, so their opinions should matter.