3 simple thoughts to better focus your hiring

You’re busy. I get it. Hiring is another thing on your already full plate.

Then again, the last thing you want to do is make a bad hire. But that’s what happens when you hire without prior thinking.

So let me simplify hiring for you with 3 thoughts. These will help you get laser focused when you start the process.

Thought #1 – Which qualities would get a new hire fired?

It’s not the most ideal situation to have to fire a new hire. So think about at least 3 bad traits that would get them fired.

You should be able to pick up telltale signs of bad traits during interviews. That is, if your interviewing is structured vs an informal talk.

I’ll give 2 examples of “fireable traits” to kickstart your thought process:

Example – which traits would get you fired in a customer-facing role?

  • Bad speaking manner
  • Lack of empathy
  • Low on the helpfulness scale
  • Goldfish-like memory

Example – which traits would get you fired in an analytical role?

  • Poor mathematical skills 
  • Can’t turn data into insight
  • Valuing theory over business problems
  • Lacking technical knowledge of key tools

Thought #2 – What qualities would help them gel with the team?

You’ll need to think about how your team – as a whole – likes to operate when getting work done. Here are examples:

  • Open vs Discrete/need-to-know communication
  • Informal (“call me when…”) vs Formal (written) reporting
  • Supportive of others or Solitary achiever
  • Casual vs Formal approach to stakeholders

Once again, your interview questions should help extract this data from job candidates. And now for the final thought…

Thought #3 – How can they prove to you they can get up to speed?

Regardless of how much skill or experience a job candidate has, they will take time to get on the same page as your team.

Every industry and work environment faces changes to process and technology at different speed and intensity. 

Moving forward, you’ll want to hire someone who will adapt well to these ongoing changes.

So think of job candidates as a blank slate. No skills, no experience. This will force you to ponder whether they could be adaptable.

How can they prove to you that they will:

  • Get up to speed fast with your team’s work AND
  • Continue doing so when technologies and processes change

One telltale trait of adaptable people is being a self-starter. They are more likely to take ambiguous situations (and so, change) head-on.

Summing these thoughts up

Bring a more focused approach to your hiring process by knowing the qualities you should and shouldn’t hire.

At the same time, think about how you can work out if the new hire will pick things up or bog your team down.

Final thought: it’s best to think about these things upfront. Way less stressful than doing so during the job interviews!