What You Need to Know About a Candidate to Decide If They are the Right Fit!The goal of FIT FINDING is to find and hire an employee who not only does the job well, but enjoys doing it. FIT FINDING is a way to enhance the productivity of your team, retain team members and improve morale all by more carefully selecting who you hire based on their "fit" for the job and your work environment. The process of FIT FINDING is all about matching up those elements of a job that impact an employee’s performance and their retention with the intrinsic qualities of a candidate that makes them able and willing to do the job well. This blog is about the candidate side of fit finding – what you need to know about a candidate to determine if they are the “right fit” for the job you are hiring for. It assumes you’ve already taken the time to understand the job, its content, and all those things about the work environment that make a difference to the employee’s performance.
Here's FIVE factors you need to explore when screening and evaluating candidates for "fit"...
#1 The Candidate’s CAN DOS - the SKILLS and KNOWLEDGE they bring to the table.
- Do they have the specific skills and knowledge to do the work?
- Does their work history show that they have done the same or similar work? In what ways will what they have already done transfer to what they will be doing?
- What on the job training are they going to need? How will you provide it?
- Do they have enough experience doing the same or similar work to know when they need to ask questions? Or reach out for help? IOW, are they smart enough to know what they don’t know?
How will you know?
There’s nothing like a comprehensive skills assessment program to see for yourself if the employee has the skills and knowledge they claim to have. If you haven’t invested in skills testing software, reach out to PACE. We have a comprehensive library of skills assessment exercises that we can make available at an affordable cost.
#2 The Candidate’s WANNA DOS – those intrinsic talents and motivators that will make them successful "at this job"
- Will the kind of work the employee will be doing each day something they will enjoy and be good at? IOW, is the work content the “right fit” for the candidate’s intrinsic strengths? OR are there several components of the job that will require the employee to change their “stripes”?
- Is the job going to be challenging enough to keep the employee engaged? For how long?
How will you know?
This is where your behavioral interview comes into play, focusing your questions on….
- Things the candidate liked or didn’t like about previous jobs, what they have been good at or not so good at in previous jobs? Why?
- Their personal hobbies or activities they do outside of work, and WHY they enjoy them?
(HINT: people tend to enjoy doing things that are easy for them to do to the point where they want to do them well. If they’ve struggled with a certain type of work in the past, chances are it turned into work they didn’t like doing.)
#3 The Candidate’s Extrinsic MOTIVATORS (or DeMotivators) - things that will turn them on or off about where they work.
- What are the factors likely to motivate the candidate to do the job at high levels and enjoy doing it?
- Is your recruiting story about why a candidate would like this job relevant to what the candidate needs to achieve thru their work - or do they tend to be motivated by things you or your job doesn’t have to offer?
- Is the candidate likely to be motivated by the actual work content? The pay and benefit plan? An opportunity to be promoted? Learn more?
- What is their level of interest in what the company does? Is anything about what you do that would be a turnoff to the candidate once hired?
How will you know?
Your interview needs to include an analysis of the candidate’s work history from a motivational perspective. Ask questions about each job in a candidate’s work history –
- Why did they take each job? Why did they leave?
- Why have they liked or disliked about each job ?
- How long have they stayed at each job – that they liked? Didn’t like?
- Is there a pattern of personal or job satisfaction issues that just seem to crop up and prompt a job change?
- What is the candidate’s perception of the current job – how, from their point of view, it compares with jobs they have had in the past?
NOTE: Focus on the historical facts rather than asking what the employee wants to get out of their job now. Hiring for fit is based on the facts.
#4 The LOGISTICS - More Can and Wanna Dos
- Are the physical logistics of the job (things you can’t easily change about the work or the work environment) doable/acceptable by the candidate?
- Do they have the transportation to get to and from work as needed?
- Are they able to get to work during regular work hours?
- Are you able to allow them to work from home periodically if that is what they are requesting?
- Is the actual work setting (ex. that lone desk in the back office) going to become an issue?
How will you know?
Questions about the candidate’s logistics are typically part of candidate screening so that interviewers don’t waste time interviewing candidates that are not the right fit in terms of the basic logistics – where the job is performed? Workplace rules and boundaries? .
Most logistics relevant questions have simple yes no answers (ex. are you able to work in our Renton office 3 days a week?) but don’t be afraid to ask for reasons behind the yes’s nos or probe more deeply. (ex. You indicated that you didn’t like working from home in your last job? How will you deal with the 2 days you will work from home in this job?)
A tour of your physical facility and an opportunity to observe teammates in action, is always the “best way” to uncover pre- hire issues with a work environment.
#5 The Candidate’s Typical or Preferred WORK STYLE ..….…is all about uncovering a candidate’s preferred way and the work style of the environment where they will find themselves post hire.
- Do they prefer work environments that require a lot of meetings and 1/1 collaborations, or do they prefer working alone, without a lot of interaction with others?
- Do they prefer to work for a hands on supervisor, or someone who guides from a distance – not always there to answer questions?
- Are they good dealing with work or environmental changes or do they prefer work that is more stable, less likely to change?
- Do they enjoy interacting with teammates socially or do they tend to leave work and relationships behind when off the clock?
How will you know?
Again, you have to ask for concrete examples, using behavioral terms to probe into the employee’s past work history as your benchmark.
Example 1. You mentioned that you left your job at ABC because the work environment wasn’t a good match for you. Can you be more specific about what about that work environment didn’t measure up? How did you handle the things that were issues for you when they first came up? How did that work for you? What would you differently if that issue came up again?.
Example 2. You indicated that you liked working at ABC because they didn’t micromanagement your work. Can you give me an example where you believe you have been micromanaged while at work? How did you address that issue?
Including an opportunity for the candidate to observe the work and work environment and/or speak with future teammates is a common step in a multi step hiring process. It is a step that not only minimizes hiring errors, but starts the process to orient a new team member to the team.
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 45 years. A 5-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation, PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction. PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of hiring help and candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.