Years ago, I received some sage advice from a guy who hired a lot of great people. One day, he said to me, “If someone is smart enough, they can probably perform well in most jobs. The trick is to find the perfect fit for the company and for the candidate.” Below are some methods to use when you want to increase the likelihood that your candidates are, indeed, great fits for your company.
- Be able to clearly articulate the vision/mission/dream of the company. For example, I joined a small local firm because I didn’t want to travel excessively. If the vision of the company had been to serve clients throughout the world, I wouldn’t have been a good fit.
- Make sure you have a good job description.
- Engage a fellow company executive who can help you determine what you’re really looking for.
- Define what success will look like as concretely and clearly as you can, and share these ideas with the candidates.
- As you interview candidates, be open-minded and reflective. Maybe you’ll find an outstanding person you can use somewhere else, if not in the job you’re looking to fill at the moment. This happened to me once, and I almost missed it. We hired a great person to solve another problem we had, rather than what I went into the interview looking for. Remember: The team with the best players usually wins.
- Consider using personnel assessments.
- Think about enlisting retained search consultants when you want to fill senior executive positions. They’re usually able to find talent that you cannot. Plus, they’re very objective and focused on achieving a good fit for the company and candidate.
If you do it right, the process is a lot of work. But on the other hand, what is the cost of bad hiring decisions and their impact on your customers/clients and your team? As the old television commercial said, “You can pay me now, or pay me later.”