I am Number 4

I am Number 4.

It actually doesn’t matter if you are Number 3 or even Number 5. What really matters is, are you the right person? I’m talking about recruitment practices here. You may have heard the expression that it’s easy to hire someone but not to fire them. Bad employees are out there. Skills can be taught but a bad attitude is not easy to fix. Some candidates can put on a really good show during the interview process to mask their true nature. Should we fault them? No. The fault lies with the recruitment practice. Why does this happen? Finding the right candidate takes time. Unfortunately, sometimes companies need to fill out a critical opening quickly. This is a risk a lot of managers may need to take and as a result, some bad apples may slip through.

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Thorough background checks are a must. This should not just be about calling references in a resume. It should also be about calling the company and speaking directly to a HR personnel to understand if there are any negative records on the candidate. I believe companies also do police and financial checks. The more detailed the background checks the better.

Before the interview even begins, it’s good to have the candidate complete assessments related to the job that they are going to perform. For example, if you are hiring a Helpdesk Analyst have them complete a technical and written assessment. Technical assessments aim to gauge their basic knowledge while written assessments will give you some insights as to how they will communicate in the office. Set a target/benchmark for the assessment and decide if the candidate is worth taking to the next stage.

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The next stage of the interview should assess attitude and behaviour. This should be done face-to-face but not by the Hiring Manager. This session needs to be done by someone who has a good understanding of the company culture and the team dynamics. It should be conducted in a very casual and informal way. Why? Candidates are naturally tense when they come for job interviews (the serious ones at least). The objective of this session is to ease that tension and bring out the natural behaviour of the candidate. The questions that are asked at this stage should give you a sense of the person. What’s on the resume doesn’t really matter at this point.

The third stage of the interview should be about the job itself. This should be done by the Hiring Manager and if possible, a person already doing the job in the business (this should be a star employee by the way, not just any person). This is a serious interview to gauge the suitability of the candidate’s experience, skills and interest to do the job. The candidate should be questioned on work scenarios to assess their decision-making process and the quality of their proposed actions. Detailed information should also be requested based on what’s stated in the resume. Check if there is a real-world story to back-up what was written.

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The final stage is the most critical in my opinion. This is the calibration stage. All parties involved in the interview should meet and discuss about the interview outcome and how they think the candidate performed. Honest and unbiased opinions matter here. Any red flags raised should be scrutinized. Consistency in the responses to questions should be examined. The majority should decide if the candidate will be hired.

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