25 things you need to know in order to hire the “right” employee
Hiring the right employee isn’t just about finding the best talent in the marketplace, but finding and eventually hiring an employee whose skills, work style and motivations best “fits” the unique requirements and offerings of a specific job and the work environment that goes along with it.
To “hire right,” hiring managers and recruiters need to first understand the type of employee who best fits the actual work requirements—to create what we call a RECRUITING PROFILE. Recruiting profiles are different from JOB DESCRIPTIONs, in that they are singularly focused on defining the qualities of candidates best suited to do the work identified in the job description.
An effective RECRUITING PROFILE helps recruiters and hiring manager’s source candidates from the right places, recruit them for the right reasons, and hire the one candidate who best fits the full scope of work requirements. It focuses on KEY REQUIREMENTS, both the hard and soft skills needed for success, instead of wasting recruiter time chasing a perfect candidate who may or may not exist.
Here’s our list of 25 things recruiters and hiring managers need to know about a job BEFORE they begin the search for candidates. This is a list based on our years of experience supporting countless hiring decisions, paying attention to what works and what doesn’t.
1. Why Does this Job Exist? From an organizational perspective why is this job needed? What is it intended to accomplish/contribute different from the contribution of other jobs on the team?
2. How Will the Employee Spend Their Day? What are the reoccurring tasks the employee will need to perform on a regular/daily basis? How will the employee spend most of their time? Doing what type of work/tasks?
3. Variety. Scope of Work. What is the range of work or variety of tasks that must be performed in order to produce the work product needed? How varied in terms of content or complexity? How much organization is required to deliver the results needed?
4. Work Cadence. What is the typical pace of work that is required to achieve deadlines? Will the employee be expected to be an accomplished multi-tasker? How frequently are they asked to meet deadlines and what is the impact to others for an employee missing a deadline?
5. Key Deliverables. What are they key outcomes or work products that must be delivered on a regular basis by the person doing this job? What is the impact to the team/organization if the work doesn’t get done? Who/what is impacted?
6. Complexity. How would you describe the level of detail or complexity that goes into the completion of each deliverable/work product? How many factors must be considered before taking action? How much coordination must be done with others?
7. Quality or Quantity? Is the work content or expectations the type that would require an employee to consistently choose between quantity or quality? Or is the balance somewhere in between?
8. Problem Solving/Challenges. What types of problems are typically addressed by this employee? Will the issues that come up tend to be unique or reoccurring requiring application of proven solutions? Will the employee be asked to think outside the box—to come up with something new or innovative, or are more tried and true solutions more valued?
9. Interpersonal Communications. Who and what type of people does this person interact with on a regular basis? How often? Written? E-mail, etc.? Are there any special circumstances surrounding the people they will communicate with regularly? Styles they need to accommodate?
10. Influence. Persuasion. Negotiations. How often will they be required to influence, persuade or negotiate with others? Will those people tend to be bosses? Peers? Direct reports?
THE WORK ENVIRONMENT
11. Decision Making/Autonomy. How many and what kind of decisions will this person make at the direction of others? How many and what kind of decisions are they expected to make on their own?
12. Change. Would you describe the work environment as organized, structured and stable, or in frequent flux, subject to change without a lot of notice or preparation? How are changes handled in the work environment?
13. Training/Mentorship Availability and Requirements. What level of training, mentorship or hands on instruction will be available to the candidate? How much of the work to be performed will require company-specific training?
14. Teamwork. Collaborations. How often will the employee be asked to collaborate with others on getting work done, to make decisions? To put team goals ahead of personal goals?
15. Learning. To deliver the outcomes required, how often and in what ways will they be required to learn something new? Are they required to do most of their learning on their own, or how is new knowledge introduced into your work environment?
16. Management Style. Goal Setting. How tightly will the employee be managed with respect to goals, expectations and performance tracking? How will goals and expectations be communicated? Measured? What are the consequences of below target performance?
17. Management Style.Feedback and Support. How often and in what ways will they be given feedback? How available is their supervisor to answer questions, provide support?
18. Required/Preferred Skills. To deliver the work products required, what skills will be required that can’t be acquired on the job, via training or instruction? What skills would be helpful, but not absolutely necessary? Will the required skills be needed at the entry, intermediate, or advanced levels?
19. Required/Preferred Knowledge. To deliver the work products required, what knowledge or subject matter expertise is needed? Preferred? What components of the knowledge required can be taught or learned on the job rather than via formal education/training?
20. Required/Preferred Work Experience. To deliver the work products required, how much actual on the job experience is required? Preferred? Is it possible that a fast tracker could have acquired the skills or knowledge needed with less work experience? Are there some specific types of work experiences more valuable or relevant than others?
21. Required/Preferred Personal Qualities Important to Success. What are the key personal qualities that a candidate needs to have in order to be successful? How would you describe the qualities of previous candidates who have been successful in the role? How are those traits different from those who have been unsuccessful
22. Required Certifications/Education. What certifications or licenses are required in order to perform the required job functions?
23. Attraction Opportunities. What are some of the special opportunities that will be available to the employee who accepts this job? Opportunities to learn new things? To advance their career? To make a noticeable contribution? In other words, why would someone want to take this job? Where in their career cycle would the preferred candidate likely be, entry level? Mid/aspirational level? Mastery level?
24. Attraction Elimination Issues. Are there any factors in work content that would eliminate candidates based on certain personal preferences or restrictions? Travel? Availability? Pay rate? Physical working conditions?
25. “Corporate Fit.” How would you describe the “selling features” your company typically uses to recruit and retain its employees? Opportunity for advancement? Pay/Benefits? Entrepreneurial environment? Industry leadership?
For a copy of a one page RECRUITING PROFILE which will summarize all of the information needed to focus your search for the right candidate, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also inquire about additional interviewing guides, tools and checklists that are a part of our HiringSmart Best Practices Series.