Talent Acquisition: It’s all About Fit

Feb 18, 2019 | Assess, Leadership Lounge

Our clients include a variety of organizations, industries, and personalities from all over the globe. Candidly, the most interesting (as in “hmm, interesting…”) part of the search process that our team observes is the “interview” itself. Understanding what works (and what doesn’t) will enable you to secure more impactful hires faster.
Frankly, learning how to conduct interviews is hard! And it takes not just a strategic plan, but practice on how to move throughout the interview so both the candidate and the hiring manager both have a good experience regardless of the hiring decision. Our firm’s interview process transitions the interactions from an interrogation to a conversation. This process advocates getting to know the candidate, rather than using some of the common tactics below.

Interview styles that come up short.

The One-Call Close

If the candidate was referred by a trusted source, you might be tempted to meet over lunch, discuss the role, agree on salary, and close the deal. We get it. Time is limited, and you may be desperate to fill the position. Resist the urge to complete the one-call close. Instead, think of hiring as investing in organizational insurance. Do your due diligence, take time, and mitigate risk in hiring the wrong person.

The Brainteaser

Consider the questions you ask candidates. Those off-the-wall questions, or brainteasers, might give you insights into this person’s clever thoughts on their feet, but think about questions that would help you gain a clear understanding of the candidate’s mental creativity, talent competencies, and cultural fit.

The Robust Resume

Don’t get lost in what we call the “skills and experience glare.” Relying too much on reported skills and experience may not allow enough time to engage with the candidate and make a real connection. Look for evidence of how the resume items have created valuable impact.

So, what to do? Here’s our approach:

Engage in a conversation rather than an interrogation. Remember that the most qualified candidates are interviewing YOU just as much as you are interviewing them. Think of the interview process as five meaningful conversations customized for the specific role. And not every candidate warrants having all five of these conversations. You can end the process if you don’t observe what you are looking for. These are five areas we use:

1. Candidate fit
  • Candidate: Why are they interested in the opportunity?
  • Interviewer: One quick phone call, and good questions, will give you a ton of insight.
2. Talent/Competence fit
  • Candidate: Look for examples that demonstrate impact made in areas you need filled in your role/organization.
  • Interviewer: Ask and understand “how” the candidate accomplished outcomes. An integral part of this conversation is that the candidate provides evidence of past success and demonstrates communication skills – how they listen, directly answer the questions, and connect with people.
3. Cultural fit
  • Candidate: How would this person fit into the interesting human matrix of your organization?
  • Interviewer: Think about how your organizational DNA will deliver meaningful elements this candidate requires.
4. Career fit
  • Candidate: What does this person seek for development and growth?
  • Interviewer: Are you and your organization able to provide at least some of those opportunities?
5. Management fit
  • Candidate: How does this person like to be managed and does this match your style?
  • Interviewer: Will this person be someone YOU can learn from as a manager?

It takes time to vet a candidate. BUT, we believe using these techniques makes interviewing fun and interesting. The secret sauce? Be engaged in understanding the person in front of you. Be awesome at asking great questions. Be better at listening.
Happy Interviewing!

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