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Opinion Are you hiring? Here's how to choose the right employee for your company

Most people think in terms of qualifications, skills and experience when they are looking to hire – but an employee is much more than that.

FROM A RECENT survey in the US, 34% of employers who had made a bad hire said “it just didn’t work out”. My interpretation of this is that “the chemistry was wrong”.

Most employers think in terms of qualifications, skills and experience when they are looking to hire a person for their organisation – I call this “mind and body”. You can get most of this information from a CV, and it will tell you whether the person is technically qualified to do the job, but it won’t give you any indication as to whether or not they will actually do the job, do it well and love doing it. I call this “heart and spirit”. This is a person’s passion for the job and is what really determines their performance. You can only discover this through a hiring process which includes assessment of the personality, characteristics, motivation and values of the person sitting in front of you.

What are you actually looking for?

But before you can do that, you need to have defined what sort of personality and characteristics you are looking for – otherwise you won’t be able to recognise whether or not the person you are interviewing has the right ones. You need to consider what type of temperament and personality style is required for the job. Do you need somebody patient and reserved who is happy to follow a system without question and carry out repetitive tasks or you do you need somebody outgoing and dynamic who can think on their feet and make it up as they go along?

You need to think about what attributes and characteristics the person needs to have to be able to do the job well. Do they need to be efficient, accurate, friendly, a multi-tasker, decisive, etc? You need to recognise the culture of your organisation and what values a new employee needs to have to fit in with that. How do you treat your customers, suppliers and your existing team members? You want to attract somebody who shares these values.

You need to be aware of your own management style and what type of person will suit that. Are you very controlling – always watching what they are doing? Or will they not see you from one end of the week to the next?

The interview

So how do you find all this out in an interview? Ask them about the other jobs they are applying for. This will tell you if they specifically want to do this type of job or if they are randomly looking at all sorts of jobs without any real focus. Ask them what’s important to them in a job. This will give you an idea of whether your company and this role can fulfil their needs.

Ask them what they want to achieve in life. This will tell you what they are passionate about and if they have any vision. Ask them how they see your company helping them achieve their own goals. This will tell you if they have thought seriously about working for you. Ask them what one thing made them apply for this job. This will tell you about motivates them. Ask them about the best and worst bosses they ever had. This will tell you whether or not they will get on with your management style. Ask them what they think the job is really all about. This will tell you what they want the job to be about, for example beware the person at an interview for a sales role who tells you the job is about customer service – they probably don’t like asking for the sale.

Ultimately, you are trying to find out if they will be happy doing this job and working for you – because if they are happy they are much more likely to perform well.

What about job applicants?

If you are a job applicant, consider things from the employer’s point of view. They need to be sure that they are hiring the right person for the job and that they will get a return on their investment in you. They want to know not only if you have the capability to do the job, but if you will be motivated and happy doing it. They want to know if you are the best performer for the role – they are not looking for a body who needs an income – they are looking for a person who cares and takes pride in their work.

So you need to be able to articulate what you are really good at, why you are passionate about this particular job as well as demonstrating competency to do it. From your point of view, the two most important things are to do your research and be yourself. No matter how badly you want a job, you still need to make sure the job you get, is the right one for you. You need to enjoy your work, feel proud of the organisation and feel that you are competent and successful in your role.

So check out the company and job before you apply and trust that if they don’t select you, it wasn’t right for you.

Jane Hogan is an international award winning business coach and co-founder of The Business Practice who specialises in Talent Acquisition. Prior to setting up her own business in 2005, Jane worked as a Senior Management Consultant with Fujitsu for five years, and as a Business Consultant with British Airways for 10 years.  She has a Science Degree from Trinity College, Dublin and a post-graduate diploma in Business and Executive Coaching.

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