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Many small business owners may find that finding their next employee can be as easy as writing a full job description and work culture, posting it on a public board, and waiting for applicants to arrive. their inbox. It is also commonly believed that with enough detail at the start, applicants have already taken some of the first steps to self-select before applying. This kind of thinking can lead hiring managers to overlook some of the subjective methods that can (and should) be deployed to validate that the best possible candidates are a suitable match to any prospective hiring decision.
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This cannot be overstated. A well-traveled quote from Google Ventures partner Joe Kraus that I hear repeated often in startup circles rings true: “The cost of hiring someone bad is way higher than missing someone. good.” Whether the intention is to hire an entry-level or high-level position in your organization, ensuring the “best fit” of skills, temperament and cultural alignment is of equal importance.
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I regularly advise clients to pursue investigative methods that deepen the discovery of the innate alignment of character with corporate culture. While there are many behavioral and personality profile models to draw on, I have spent two decades developing a series of questions that have always helped bring out certain critical characteristics in an interview. Here are seven of them, with examples of how they could be articulated.
1. A question that explores past experiences within work cultures and extrapolates where future environments may or may not align. For example: Creating the right culture is important to our business. Can you share details about a time when you were in a toxic work environment and how management handled the situation? Describe when you were in a wonderful work environment and what management did right.
2. Deciphering how candidates prefer to be managed as a key to ensuring management style alignment. For example: Following the advice of leaders is an essential part of any work arrangement. Describe how you like to be managed and how would you describe the ideal leader for your personality style?
3. Understand the motivations and expectations for a long-term commitment. For example: We believe in long term retention, so we are cautious about the type of candidate we take on. If you were to make a commitment to help build this business for the long haul, what would it take to keep you happy and motivated?
4. Perspectives on their awareness of their goals and needs for personal growth. For example: We all have challenges that we are working to overcome. If you were to assess your challenges, what areas would you focus on developing and seek support to improve?
5. Communication skill and tolerance for different styles of interaction. For example: We all have different styles of communication and coordination. What is the method by which you most effectively consolidate new information to inform your work, and what is your preferred communication style to align with your leadership and stakeholders?
6. Determination of the ability and comfort to defend their ideas and opinions. For example: you had the opportunity to review our company information. If you were asked to come up with an innovative way to increase revenue or reduce expenses, what options would you suggest?
7. Understand potential “no-fly zones”, such as personal moral imperatives. For example: Our goal is to have employees as strong promoters of the company and believers in the mission and the goals. Can you come up with any scenarios that would force you to reconsider your commitment to the business and potentially go your separate ways?
Related: Job Interview Preparation Checklist
While there is no guarantee that a candidate is the perfect fit, these questions will increase the likelihood of finding a long-term employee to grow and strengthen your workforce.