How to Measure the “It” Factor in Candidates

How to Measure the “It” Factor in Candidates

August 4th, 2014

You have heard it said before, and probably said it yourself, “I’ll know it when I see it.” So, what is the “It” factor when it comes to hiring the right candidate? With over 20 years of experience, here are some of my insider tips to filling professional to C-level positions with successful, all-star talent. Following this advice should net you candidates that are able to do the job based on their skills and experience, and hit the ground running. In addition, your candidates will be enthusiastic about the job, work well with everyone, and fit well within your company culture and environment. To find people with the right fit, take the time needed to really drill down and measure how well each candidate matches all the variables of the position. This is called “culture fit”. Understanding your business, and how the open position fits into its strategy and goals, is imperative. Without this understanding, you will never find the right candidate. Unfortunately, most interviewers do not take the time to get past the potential ability of a candidate to do the job. Interviewers focus on past performance, skills and education but frequently do not evaluate cultural fit and motivation. Assessing ability is easier than assessing these other qualities. For the best outcome, the latter is just as important as the former. How does one assess another’s ability to fit the corporate culture? Consider the following three points:

  1.  Work pace and stage of the company in its lifecycle – is it a Start-Up, Early Stage or Mature company?
  2. How the job is structured — creative or more formal?
  3. What is the manager’s style? Even though textbooks tell us to adapt our management style to each employee, it is just easier to hire candidates that already fit how someone manages.

Defining cultural fit is not easy; assessing it is even more difficult. Continue examining a candidate’s past performance and major accomplishments, but also dig into the pace of their former organizations, at what kinds of jobs the person excelled, the management style of the person’s favorite managers, and the ability to adjust to changing work conditions. This will provide you a better picture of the candidate’s ability to fit your culture. Once you have done this, the last piece of the puzzle is judging their motivational fit within your company. What is their “currency”? Is it in line with the department’s? Is it in line with the organization’s? Choosing the right candidate rests on the tripod of assessing ability, culture fit and motivation fit. The next time you conduct an interview, try looking at all three parts of the puzzle. Let me know how this works for you, or if you have any questions about interviewing your candidates. If you could use some “instant pain relief” with any of your recruiting challenges, call me today. Kindest Regards, Tony Bengtson, SPHR Precision Recruiting, Inc. CTRN Founder and President Coors Corporate Gold Supplier Award Recipient (303) 627-9189

Posted in Advice, Recruiting