Our body language can significantly influence the impression that we make. How we stand, or cross our arms, or where we look when speaking all sends subtle (or not so subtle) messages. In fact, studies show that perhaps as much as 55% of communication is visual (body language, eye contact) and about 40% is vocal (tone of voice, speed and volume), while content, what you are actually saying, is a mere 5%.Read More
Making great hires is often viewed as a bit of an art form, when what we’re really looking for is a recipe for success, a proven process that works. Companies often bring in a number of candidates, interview them, make a “best guess” hire based on the team’s input, and hope for the best. But it doesn’t have to be this subjective. There are fact based studies and long term trends that can make hiring more straight forward and objective.
1. Industry experience NOT required
ATR International has been hiring and training recruiters and account managers for over 25 years. And what we have found is that industry experience is often a negative predictor of success, not a positive one. The reason is that candidates with staffing industry experience are often not happy or successful in what they are doing and think moving to another company in the same industry will help. It usually doesn't. The best approach is to hire for ability, past success, and problem solving abilities. Next, train them yourself and educate them about your industry and you will have much better luck.
2. GPA is meaningless
Google collects data on, and analyzes nearly everything that goes on within their daily operations. This includes their hiring process. And what they found is that a correlation between GPA and an employee’s on the job performance simply does not exist. In other words, a candidate's performance at school is completely unrelated to how they will perform at work. The reason for this is that it takes a different skill set to be successful at school than it does to be successful at work. Read about it in more detail here.
3. Facebook? Yes, Facebook
Facebook is often used as a resource to screen out job applicants who are spending their nights getting drunk at the local watering hole or making questionable “social” decisions. But a new study by a trio of universities has found that Facebook can be used to predict success on the job as well. Researchers at the three universities used 5 personality traits, conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion and openness. New hires who received the highest scores from independent evaluators of their Facebook presence in these categories received the highest scores in relation to their job performance 6 months later.
4. Problem Solving
A thirst for knowledge and an ability to solve problems is a proven key for a successful hire. But these traits are often not teased out in an interview. Ask questions like these to get at a candidate’s natural ability to solve problems:
There is little disagreement that hiring the right people is the most important part of building a successful company. Finding the best employees to fill the proper roles is what makes a company hum. There are many steps to accomplishing this, the most important of which is often the interview. This is why it was so surprising to hear recent stories of how some tech giants are going about hiring.
Glassdoor, the employment web site, has compiled a list of the 25 oddest interview questions culled from their user’s experiences. Of the 25, 16 were during interviews at technology companies or for technology jobs. We understand that there is merit in asking what may seem to be an odd question because it can elicit information on how a candidate solves a problem, thinks creatively – or not, reacts to a curve ball, etc. However, these still made us laugh and wonder – often something that seems like a good idea in theory doesn’t quite work out in practice!
Making your next hire a perfect one is everyone’s goal. The ideal candidate, the perfect fit, the purple squirrel – it’s what we all search for, whatever your role in the recruiting and hiring process. Evaluating candidates and trying to predict future success during the interview process can be a daunting prospect. Everyone has a story (maybe more than one) about the candidate that didn’t work out, even though they sure looked like they would be perfect. When a candidate has the requisite skills, education and experience, why don’t they work out? Usually this is when the phrases, “cultural fit,” “soft skills,” or “intangibles,” come up. People sometimes know them when they see them, they know when they are missing once things get underway, but don't have a good idea of how to identify or interview for them.
“Are video interviews becoming the norm?” This is the question posed by David Gee in Staffing Talk. He references a New York Post article about the rise in the use of video in the application process. According to a 2012 survey by OfficeTeam, in 2011 only 1% responded they used video “very often” but a year later that figure jumped to 53% and 13% expect to increase their usage in the next three years.
Asking questions in an interview is one of the most important things you can do. It enables you to gather valuable information and also allows you to control the direction of the interview to a certain degree. Here are 9 questions you should ask an interviewer.
How would you define “success” for this position?
Showing that you don’t just want the job but want to know what it takes to succeed in the position is a must. The answer to this question will also give you information that can be used for later answers, in this interview or subsequent ones. Discuss examples of past accomplishments that match up with the interviewer’s definition of success for the position.
What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
This question shows you are thinking long term and want to be a valuable contributor to the company. The answer to this question may also help you determine whether the company is a good fit for your long term career goals.
What can I tell you about my qualifications?
Most interviewers won’t show all of their cards, waiting to see if you will provide them with the right information to justify making you a job offer. This question may draw out any information he/she is looking for that you haven’t yet discussed. It will also give you some insight into what is really important to the interviewer in terms of qualifications.
What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face?
Taking on challenges is a key to success at work and life in general. And vocalizing, up front, that you want to hear the challenges the position presents demonstrates your willingness to take them on. It also allows you an opportunity to offer some potential ways you might deal with them. A win-win for you and the interviewer.
How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive, and what type don't do as well?
Another great question that will help uncover what makes for a successful employee at the company. Again, make sure you tailor your answers to highlight the ways that you would fit in with their culture.
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How would you describe your management style?
Everyone likes to talk about themselves and interviewers are no different. Finding out a manager's style and then relating a story from your past work experience that demonstrates your comfort with his/her style can set you apart from the pack.
What would a successful first year in the position look like?
Similar to the first question, the answer to this question should give you some concrete answers about projects and goals. Be sure to take notes while the interviewer lists the projects and goals that should be accomplished in the first year. This is invaluable information for subsequent interviews with other stakeholders and follow up communications.
What have been the main characteristics of your favorite employees?
Everyone prefers to work with people that they like and managers are no exception. This question will go a long way towards helping you decide if your working style is a good fit with the manager.
What was the company’s most strategic decision made in the last year? Could you describe how they came to this decision?
Showing that you are interested in the big picture can set you apart from other candidates who are simply interested in the job. Every manager wants people working for them that understand how their position impacts the company as a whole. Demonstrating this in an interview will enable you to have discussions about the company that other candidates won’t be having.
Looking for a new job? Read:How to Optimize Your Job Search, A Comprehensive Guide for Every Job Seeker