Identifying the best candidate

by Leon Gettler | |   Managing People
Identifying the best candidate

Skilled CEOs know the processes they need to identify the best candidates

Bad hiring decisions can have a devastating impact on any business. But more often than not, they don’t happen by accident. Finding the right candidate involves foresight, vision and the ability to read the interviewee. Skilled CEOs put in place processes to ensure that happens.

Paul Phillips from the Horizon Management Group says identifying knowledge and skills is relatively easy but traits and motives are more difficult to ascertain. However, there is a technique.

He says it’s important to carefully define what you believe are the success behaviours of the people who will fit and then plan the questions you are going to ask. Also, be tenacious in making sure their past behaviour has contributed to their success. He says there is a need to develop core competencies for the job and then use those to define the various employee management systems such as planning, performance management, learning and development and succession planning.

The ManagerWise site suggests CEOs and managers write out the job description and then consider the personality required. During the interview, it’s a good idea to watch out for non-verbal cues like irritability and complacence, dominance and curiosity. You might pick it up in facial gestures, tone of voice, speed of speech and movements. You should also consider what the candidate is innately good at. And also look at their soft skills, traits like how they get on with people, how they handle their emotions and how they cope under pressure. At the same time, it’s important to assess their emotional intelligence. How resilient are they? And do they have the ability, willingness, cognitive ability and flexibility to keep on learning. That’s one of the most important skills to have in this information age.

Alan Hall at Forbes identifies the 7 Cs that will decide whether the person gets the job.
•    Competent: Do they have the necessary skills, experiences and education to successfully complete the tasks you need performed?
•    Capable: Will they complete not only the easy tasks but will he or she also find ways to deliver on the functions that require more effort and creativity? If they have that, it’s more likely to ensure growth.
•    Compatible:  Can this person get along with colleagues, and more importantly, can he or she get along with existing and potential clients and partners?
•    Commitment: Are they serious about working for the long term, or are they just passing through.
•    Character: Does the person have values that align with yours? Are they honest; do they tell the truth and keep promises? Are they above reproach? Are they selfless and a team player?
•    Culture: Can they fit in with the company’s culture?
•    Compensation: Be sure the person hired agrees to a market-based compensation package and is satisfied with what is offered.

Also call the referees and see how the candidate fits in with those seven categories.

How do you find the right person for the job?