You own a company and want to make the best hire possible. You’re impressed with a candidate in the interview, but you want to make sure she can handle the day-to-day grind. This is a critical hire for your business, and you keep asking yourself, “Can I really trust my gut?”
The short answer is yes. You have to trust yourself, assuming you took the right hiring steps. If you do your legwork up front, you’ll save yourself the agony of a bad hire who can’t handle the workload you expect her to handle. Here are the steps you need to take to make sure an employee can handle the grind.
1. Look and listen for passion.
To hire people who can handle the day-to-day workload, you must look and listen for passion. Is there a fire in her belly to work hard and win -- even when it comes to the small, tedious stuff? Does she love the work itself, including the hard or boring stuff? You have to ask key questions.
Here’s an example of what you might ask a candidate for a sales position.
“We realize you love to sell, but here we have to keep track of conversations we have in the sales pipeline and record our progress. This can take time, and to some salespeople, it’s the worst part of the job. How do you feel about tracking leads, and what have you done to expedite the process in past positions?”
Make sure you listen for specifics and ask further questions if answers seem fuzzy, rehearsed or totally fabricated.
2. Check back-channel references.
Don’t only call people on her reference list. Ask former employers for specific tasks she completed. Ask what the job entailed and if she could handle all the tasks. Don’t just ask the yes or no questions. You want details!
3. Ask for examples of previous work or give a “test.”
She has completed the interview process and passed with flying colors, but can she pass an actual test? It’s completely acceptable to give a writing test, or ask for some sort of written response to a question.
4. Verify every item on the resume.
When interviewing potential candidates, employers should operate under the assumption that they have to verify all the information they receive from a candidate. Given that a significant number of candidates embellish their resumes to some degree -- as many as 50 percent according to some industry sources -- verifying education, employment dates and job titles through third-party verification or background-check companies, as well as previous employer references, is a critical step in learning more about your potential hire.
Don’t forget to “socially” check up on your candidate. LinkedIn is a valuable tool to fact check what a candidate may have shared during an interview or on a resume vs. what they have listed publicly for all the world to see in case there are discrepancies.
5. If she hits four out of five marks, still consider her.
Say she met four out of five of qualifications but doesn’t nail one category. It’s probably worth considering bringing her on and perhaps giving those specific duties to someone else in the office who is good at that task. Remember, it’s difficult to find someone who’s great at everything.
Do you have any tips to get information out of new hires? Let us know in the comments section below.