Hiring Managers: Have You Ever Just Gone With Your Gut?
Hiring managers have been coached for decades not to make hiring decisions based on their gut feeling. But it happens, and we get it. Sticking to a long list of structured interview questions from a generic template created years ago (by someone who probably doesn’t know your team) can feel taxing and irrelevant.
The result: either you end up winging it and going with your gut, or you end up having a long drawn out interview process with multiple stages and many people involved. We all know unstructured interviews, on the fly, leave you open to the risk of making biased decisions, and oftentimes, bad hires.
So, how do you shorten your interview time and process, and have confidence that you’re doing it right?
Ensure Objectivity and Consistency
It’s important to have a strong sense of a candidate’s capabilities before making a hiring decision. Going with your gut is not a bad thing if you follow a few simple steps that ensure objectivity and consistency in your decision-making.
At Greenlight, we believe there’s a way for hiring managers to reduce interview time without reducing the quality of the evaluation process.
Before we dive into those steps, we want to quickly mention: you should be walking into the interview well prepared. Give yourself 5 to 10 minutes prior to an interview to review the candidate’s resume, highlighting areas that interest you or raise concern.
No one candidate profile is the same, so you want to ensure that you draw out the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses from their hands-on experience, and walk through the pieces on their resume that first jumped out at you. This approach allows you to have a conversation rather than a traditional Q&A session, It also allows you to understand the uniqueness of a particular candidate.
If you follow these three simple steps, what you think is your gut feeling will actually be a credible decision based on a systematic process.
Step 1: Three Key Questions
Determine the three most important skills you need the individual to have.
Convert these into experience-based questions, requiring the candidate to draw on past experience by providing solid real-life examples of where they have demonstrated that particulate skill. Using the same three questions across all your interviews and having all interviewers in the process ask the same ones will create consistency in the way you evaluate your candidates.
This will then allow the conversation to be customized based on the candidate’s background and experience, allowing the candidate the opportunity to truly demonstrate what they have to offer or what they don’t.
Step 2: Culture Fit
Don’t take fit lightly.
In most instances, the fit of an individual to the culture of the company and team is just as important a criteria as the skills they possess. We would argue that this is the most important criteria, above skills and intelligence.
Develop key behavioural questions that can be used in all interviews and by all interviewers. These behavioural questions should not be driven by how a candidate can apply particular skills to the job, rather how they react to various scenarios they could encounter. The desired response should be specific to your company and team expectations and standards. We suggest discussing these questions as a team in advance to align on what outcomes everyone should be looking for.
A gap in experience or skill can be learned, fit cannot.
Step 3: Candidate Engagement
Allow at least 10 minutes at the end of an interview for the candidate to ask you questions.
This stage is just as important to the evaluation process as the interview itself. You ideally want a candidate that asks insightful and relative questions, rather than generic textbook ones. This is an opportunity for you to gauge the true intentions of the candidate and what is important to them. Based on the questions that the candidate asks, it can reveal their interest in the role, allowing you to determine if they are truly passionate about the work. It also allows the candidate to understand that you care about their needs and provides an opportunity to assess if this role and company is the right fit for them.
A candidate can demonstrate, through their questions, if they will be a success at your company.
By following this three-step approach, you are evaluating skills consistently across candidates, with a touch of customization. Every candidate comes with a different set of skills and experiences, so having an open conversation around what they bring to the table is important. Evaluating how they work, and how they react to situations that they may encounter, will allow you to make an educated determination of how they fit the role.
Do you want to learn more about how we hire? Contact us to learn more about our staffing and recruiting services.