Recruiting quality, high-performing candidates for critical roles in your organization is one of HR’s biggest ongoing challenges.
Of course you do your recruiting due diligence by determining whether a potential hire’s experience and skill level are appropriate for the job. But according to Vivian Kessler, president of boutique executive search firm Search Innovations, to truly gauge whether a finalist for a key position within your organization is a good fit, it’s important to find out “who somebody is, and who they were, and who they became … what their values are (and) what gives them a sense of fulfillment.”
Appearing on an episode of HRMorning’s “Voices of HR” podcast, titled “Secrets of a Top Executive Recruiter: Finding the Right Leadership for That Critical Role,” Kessler said that when the time comes to interview a high-performing potential hire, you need to pay close attention to how the candidate responds to these questions:
- Can you give me an example of when you “went the extra mile?”
- What did you do when something you proposed at a previous company wasn’t adopted?
- What’s the most disappointing or frustrating thing that’s happened in your professional life?
- What do you want that you don’t have today?
- What do you have today that you want to keep?
What you ultimately want to learn about the person are what’s important to them and their approach to getting things done.
“It’s getting to know how they drive a project forward, what problems they encountered in driving that project forward, whether they abandoned ship or kept moving,” Kessler said.
Consider your culture in the recruiting process
The million-dollar question: Is the candidate’s style for getting things done going to set them up for success or failure at your company?
Kessler presented this example: “If you can’t articulate how you get something done, who you were able to influence, how you changed your influencing approach in order to influence someone who is particularly recalcitrant, you are not going to be effective in an organization that really values … communication and gaining buy-in.”
“I’ve had candidates who I think might be effective (at another organization), but I know they’re not going to be effective (for the position I’m recruiting for),” she said, mentioning candidates she’s interviewed and rejected because they were better suited for an entrepreneurial, outcomes-oriented culture.