Steve Jobs Quote

The most crucial first step in hiring (well, actually in anything!) is to clarify the criteria first. No, this doesn’t have to be a boring and lengthy process – even just a high level key risk criteria would really help in making sure you don’t end up with a mismatch.

Just as Steve points out in his quote – if you want someone who will just take orders then why are you hiring someone who can think 🙂 In other words, make sure you know what you are looking for before you start searching.

Once you have an idea of your criteria (things like the purpose of the position, how long they are needed for, the type of skills and person that would work) and you have all the necessary administrative details (like salary, job spec) in place you can start with the interviewing process.

Over the years I have interviewed hundreds of candidates and I found that if you add the steps below to the process, you are guaranteed to reduce the likelihood of ending up being disappointed.

The more steps you add to the process the more you reduce the risk. As each position is different I found that I would remove or add steps depending on the nature of position we were recruiting for.
Important considerations were things like costs and time – were the costs and time spent on the process in line with the position being recruited for?

Try adding a few of these processes to your next recruitment:

1. Make sure you interview the same candidate more than once. The more times you see a person the harder it is for them to keep a professional distance and you will be able to gain an insight into the person.

2. Make sure that you include other people from your company when you interview as they are likely to pick up things while you are talking. And when they are asking questions – it will give you time to process and reflect.

3. Make sure you incorporate practical insights into the interview and not only asking them questions about themselves. For e.g. you could give them a case study to prepare and then present – this gives you insight into how they think.

4. Have you considered profiling options? Many roles require a clear preference such as detailed accuracy versus big picture thinking and for instance Myers Briggs will help you compare the person’s preferences to what you need in the role they are applying for.

5. References and credit checks. This is almost a must have, but you are likely to gain more value from the above points but at the same time you know that you need to tick this one off just to be sure. Another reference to use is social media – find their public online profiles as this will give you another perspective on who they are.