Recruiting the right people for your team

Recruiting a great team

The value of adding the right new members to your team can never be underestimated. As a manager you should be actively involved in the recruitment of new staff. Good recruitment is not just about getting someone with the needed experience or qualifications, it is in fact far more personal than that, it is much more about judging how the candidate will fit into your team and the goals you have to achieve.

Recruiting the right candidate is not just about the experience a person has but how they fit into your team dynamics.

The first thing to do when recruiting a new team member is to visualize what you need as it is as important with recruitment, as it with goal setting, to start with the end in mind. When visualizing the new team member, you should consider the work objectives and team dynamics and then picture the type of person who would achieve all those things. Company value statements are useful frameworks to use when evaluating the type of personality you need.

New employees should fit into your company’s values.

After visualizing the type of person you need, the next step is to plan out where you will find that type of person and how you will present the recruitment message. It is important when “selling the job” that you do so in a way that does not shy away from the whole dynamics of the position, the bad parts as well as the good. The message you give should be more presenting the purpose achieved via the job over the physical things received. Pay and conditions being in line with the expected for the responsibilities undertaken is important but even more important is indicating the value and purpose of the job you are recruiting for, at least it is if you want that team member to fit in.

Recruitment ads should focus on the purpose of the job over the conditions received.

Once you receive applications you will need to have a framework of “minimums” to be able to do some quick filtering i.e minimum level qualification or minimum years of experience. These minimums however I strongly suggest to keep exactly to what the word is “minimum” as often the best applicants can be found on the borderline of these. The potential of a talented new graduate without experience or the experience and know how of candidate with a degree in another field should not be dismissed as often in these areas can be found great candidates that your competitors are not considering. When you get down to deciding who to interview you should again visualize the type of candidate you want and try to compare each filtered applicant to this. Also try where possible to compare in your mind these new candidates to past great staff you have already recruited as often you will have hidden instincts about people that you can tap into when you push yourself to do so.

When deciding who to interview, remind yourself of the candidate your visualized at the beginning of the process.

A well done interview can have many forms but I have learned that the most important things you need to know – feel – by the end of the interview are to firstly get a real feeling for who the candidate is and connect their personality to the position you have. Secondly assess their experience up to now and connect this to how prepared this makes them for the position in question. And then thirdly judge their potential and get an instinct for how far this will take them. To achieve these three things there are many ways of doing the interview but i like this format outlined below:

  1. Ice breaker – talk about anything but the interview for the first 2-3 minutes. *Sometimes you will sense the “real person” more in this moment.*
  2. Personality Questions – ask them what 3 personality strengths they have that will make them great at this job and then ask them to name one weaker personality area which could cause them challenges. *Make sure they answer in personality traits and not about experience*.
  3. Summarize Experience – ask the candidate to summarize their relevant experience up to now and to argue why this will prepare them for the position. How well they do this will show in part how well they understand the responsibilities of the position. You should have already referred to their c.v. so you know what to expect and have relevant follow up questions to ask. *Encourage candidates to mention some non work experiences as well as this helps identify hidden potential and skills.*
  4. Challenge and Purpose “Role Play” Questions – have ready some pre-set questions to do with challenges you foresee in the position. Try to chose the one or two most suited to what you sense you wish to know about this candidate, i.e. one which tests a doubt you have based on the info you have. Also have a question or two ready to ask them about what they would get out of the position as it is critical to know the person aligns to purpose of the job. *Challenge questions should encourage them to call upon past experience where possible*.
  5. Let them ask questions – use what questions they ask as way to judge how they fit into the intended role. Personally i dislike too many questions about conditions and give “bonuses” to candidates who show real understanding of the position by asking insightful questions about the post. *The questions they ask often give an insight into who the person is*.
  6. Open ended sell them-self question – ask them an opened ended question that lets them sell them-self with a closing statement.
  7. Give Feedback to candidate  – not all interviewers like this part but i like to give the person genuine feedback in the moment about how i feel they did and how well i think they will suit the position. The value to this is you can see how the candidate reacts to the feedback and it gives them an opportunity to respond to what you said. Also it enables you to give them an indication on what they would need to work on if they were offered the post.
  8. Reflection Post Interview – I also always ask for candidates to do a reflection after the interview as the final part of their application letting me know why they want the position and why they feel it is suited to them. It should be short, no more than half a word page and should encourage them to be honest over telling you “what you want to hear”.

A good interview procedure forms an important part in how the successful candidate will view the work they do.  It should push them to earn the position and should give them the feeling that they will need to be at their best to succeed in the position.  However it should also give the successful candidate a feeling for who you are as manager and what the company values are as they need to believe in these things to both fit into your team and do the job well. Successful candidates getting a firm sense that you push for and provide professional development will also be a great starting point for getting them to release their potential.

Great managers see an interview procedure as the starting point to creating great staff.


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