Hiring Done Right: How I Choose My Next Team Member!
Identifying and attracting the right talent for my team has never been easy. Hiring decisions, perhaps are the most important choices that I make as an employer.
If you can hire people whose passion intersects with the job, they won’t require any supervision at all. They will manage themselves better than anyone could ever manage them. Their fire comes from within, not from without. Their motivation is internal, not external.Stephen Covey
Especially when you are hiring for scaling a start-up, the stakes rise by many folds. One thing I always make sure is not to take hasty decisions. These can cost us our scarce financial resources and distract managers & staff from more productive activities.
Here’s a list of elements that helps me in choosing the right candidate:
Will Vs Skill Matrix:
This popular management tool has proven to be very effective while selecting my next team member. This method essentially helps me to answer two questions:
How much can that person rely on his or her skills to complete the task?
How much does that person really want to complete the task?
Personally, I tend to select those who have high will rather than those who show low will in spite of having high skill. As a leader, I try my best to make sure that my people are not just working because they need a paycheck. And thus I focus on finding those with talent or rather with raw talent and will to do what it takes to be successful and mentor them.
I have always found the people with the will to perform better than those with only skill. As I can train the skill but the will comes from inside.
One thing that I never compromise on while hiring for a position is testing the candidate on their aptitude skills. A comprehensive and well-designed aptitude test is much more efficient than interviews for determining if a candidate has the potential to do a job well.
And the cherry on the top is that these tests are standardised. We know that they are both valid & reliable, so we can be assured of a fair process.
Experience Vs Approach to Problem:
Choosing the most relevant experienced candidate for a job seems to be the obvious conclusion. But that is always not the case. Finding the right person for a job is a complex process.
Usually experienced candidates triumph over inexperienced candidates as the latter know what to do. Experienced professionals have encountered the typical scenarios that work would expose them to and they’ve learned how to deal with them. These might not necessarily be the same scenarios, but it gives a great insight into decision making the skill. So whenever I look for a candidate for my startup I always look for people who are more inclined towards out of the box thinking and approach problems from unique perspectives. Sometimes experienced applicants come out topping it, sometimes it’s the youngsters. It’s important to keep an open mind on this.
Attention to details in one of the most crucial requirements for any openings at Phonon. The best way for me to check the detail orientation of a candidate is a close look at his/her CV or resume. Is it free of any grammar and spelling mistakes? If not, then I would not have invited the person to an interview in the first place. How’s the finish? The quality of content?
I also perceive a candidate who took notes (about the most important points of the conversation) during an interview as more serious and detail-oriented.
Mind you these are not the only ways by which you can check the details orientation of a candidate, everyone has their own ways. What matters is that you evaluate these characteristics before making any decision.
Taking Help of Pre-Employment Assessment Tools:
Widely available pre-employment assessment tools have been helping us in making our recruitment process not only faster but also prompt and inexpensive.
The main reason behind us preferring online assessment tools over the traditional way of gauging the skills of candidates before an interview is online assessment test reports. They give us a quick analysis of the candidate’s test performance. The section-wise analysis helps make the right hiring decision.
One of them being Myer Briggs type indicator. MBTI provides great insights into a candidate’s perspectives, motivations, values, work styles, knowledge, and skills, none should ever give the final verdict on which candidate is right for the job.
Hope these will help other Startup also make those crucial hiring decisions faster and more efficient.
About the Author
An Electronics Engineer and an MBA from IIM Calcutta, Ujwal is a technology visionary in service automation and a master of concept sales. He is a people’s person and ever ready for an operational challenge with his sleeves rolled up.