I have heard from both sides of the aisle in the hiring process and both sides have valid complaints. From the hiring side of it, the biggest complaint seems to be that they didn’t get the person they thought they were hiring and were now stuck with a disappointing second rate hire. From the being hired side, by far, the problem is that the job is different than the one they thought they were being hired for. So what happened and why, more importantly, how can we make this process better for both sides?
When you prepare to hire an individual there are some considerations that you should put some thought into: What exactly will the job entail, what would you like to see as requirements (both educational and experience) to apply, the salary attached to that specific job and any benefits that you offer. That’s step one and the easy part.
Now you should put some deeper thought into the individual you want. What sort of individual is needed and by that I mean what matters to your organization: Does speed count? Does being precise count? Does it matter if they’re an introvert or extrovert? Is creativity a consideration? Will bravery be a part of the job description? Is experience a need or do you want a blank slate to train? These questions are step two and a little more difficult for most organizations.
It’s step three that’s the most critical and most oftentimes overlooked part of the hiring process because it’s the actual interviewing process and most organizations don’t understand the importance of follow up questions. For instance, say you’re hiring a salesperson and they tell you that last year they sold a large number of a very similar product that your company makes and they have the sales figures to prove it.
On the surface, it sounds impressive but you don’t want average, you want great so you ask, how does that compare to the last five years of sales of that individual and you find this individual was very average for the last four years and then last year the company built an online presence and everyone’s numbers skyrocketed and they still weren’t in the top ten of their organization’s charts.
It is of utmost importance that you don’t take what any candidate says at face value because they are always going to try and put themselves in the best light possible for them. Follow up questions help you to ascertain what that really means to the future of your organization.
On the other side of the coin, the person who is interviewing for a position also has preparations to make and things to consider. Your first step should be to find out everything you can about the organization you are applying to. It is the rare company that doesn’t have an online presence today and you should use this to your advantage.
Are they engaged in the same things you’re interested in? Are they growing or just hanging somewhere in the middle of the pack? Look at the leadership numbers, are they top heavy, meaning you may be answering to many bosses or are they lean and growing? What are the turnover rates for that particular organization and how does that compare to the industry average?
Now if you do get to the interview process, they will at some point ask you if you have any questions, and you should. Some things to consider asking are: What would you consider to be the culture at this organization? How does this organization view training? How much are creativity and innovation valued? What is the average length of time an employee stays at this organization? What are the future plans of the company? You see these questions and others like it separate you from the average interviewee because they rarely if ever ask those kind of follow up questions and after all, this is your future.
If organizations and individuals find the right fit, they both grow. It is worth the trouble to do a little research and think a little deeper. The future is important for both.