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The Key to Hiring the Right Candidate

Is there a key to hiring the right candidate? I recently spoke with our resident hiring expert Dr. Wendell Williams, co-founder of the Emergenetics Profile and ESP Hiring System. He pointed out a clear insight that many companies fail to actually do… even though it seems like a very obvious way to hire effectively. I’m talking about hiring for what you actually need. Going beyond the interview or beyond the job description to select candidates based on the qualities, motivations, and particular skill-sets that will equate to success and performance.

We say that business is about the bottom line [1]…so what is the bottom line for hiring? The equation is actually pretty simple, though it’s incredibly hard to get right. You need the right combination of motivation, aptitude, attitude, and experience to align with the skill requirements and cultural elements of a particular job.

In today’s knowledge economy, there’s rarely a company that can simply hire the same kind of position over and over again. Think about a position like account management. Our company has numerous account managers; they each bring something unique to the position. Each time we hired someone, we sought a distinct set of characteristics that would complement those of the current business development team. We needed account managers who were driven by collaboration to be partners with our clients. We also needed other account managers who were focused on problem-solving [2] and finding new avenues of business.

Same position- very different requirements and needs. So what would have happened if we’d simply hired for an account manager without creating a specific job analysis? Chances are only certain candidates would love the work and excel in the role. Others would either fall short of expectations set before them, or they would leave, being unsatisfied or unfulfilled with the work.

If you’re a hiring manager, how can you think differently about selection and hiring the right candidate? Start here:

The key to hiring the right candidate [4]meaning hiring smarter– starts with knowing what you want as an employer. If you begin there and assess your candidates based on those specific qualities the potential for great, productive, and lasting employees will be even higher.