When looking to make a new hire, it is rare that a hiring manager would agree to interview a candidate whose mindset is joining an organization for only three to six months before moving on to something else. To the contrary, when time, effort, and money have been put into onboarding a new employee it is important to think about their lasting power with the organization.
Here are some helpful tips to find employees who are more likely to go the distance:
Ask about future plans: While inquiring about the past and what the candidate has already accomplished, we are a culture built on change and growth and it is important to ask what the candidate’s future goals are. By learning where they would like to see themselves in the next 2-5 years you will unlock the key to a wealth of knowledge about the candidate. For instance, if you are hiring for an Administrative Assistant role in a small organization that reports directly to the CEO, and the candidate says that in 2 years he/she would like to be the CEO of that organization, you know the likelihood of that happening is slim to none and this is most likely not the best candidate for that organization. Instead, by continuing your search to find a candidate who’s short terms goal is more in-line with the career path of the organization, you will most likely find a candidate who will be willing to grow with the organization at a more reasonable rate.
Listen to their references: While it is true that no candidate ever really provides a professional reference who will bad mouth them or their work abilities, it is also true that by asking questions in a different or unexpected (yet legal) way, and really listening to the reference’s answers, you can hear things that are not captured on the resume or during an interview the interview process. For instance, by asking a former colleague questions about the candidates’ weaknesses are or how well the candidate handled conflict or change within the organization, you will most likely get a better insight to the candidate’s true character and allow you to make a more informed hiring decision.
Be cautious of the “Desperately Seeking” types: For many the downturn in the economy came in like a thief in the night and stole many people’s stability, homes, hopes and dreams. It left in their place, desperation and the “I’ll Take Anything” mentality. I often come across candidates who find themselves in that unfortunate situation, willing to take anything for “the now”. But, as a recruiter it is my job to remind the hiring managers about “the later” and hiring a senior level candidate for an entry level position almost never lasts just as hiring a used car salesman to be a preschool teacher just because there is a need, is almost never the best fit.
Be realistic and know when it is time to let go: Being a recruiter is a lot like being a realtor, I essentially work for both sides of the coin. In my case, that coin happens to be a client and a candidate instead of a seller and a buyer. While my clients are the ones that essentially pay me, my candidates are the ones that help to build my reputation. In my line of work it is important to maintain positive relationships with both, and at times it can be difficult when advising one to walk away from the other. However, as difficult as that is, it would be worse to knowingly assist in the hiring process of a candidate who was not the best fit for a client organization. As such, I must have those hard conversations with my clients- pointing out when a top candidate has become unresponsive posing a red flag about their reliability, or when a candidate admits that their career goals are not in-line with what the client organization offers. Likewise, I am also honest with my candidates when a client organization does not have their desired salary range in the budget, or when there has been an expressed interest for growth and development by the candidate and the client organization does not possess such opportunities.
I believe that Forbes staff member Deborah Jacobs said it best,“Recruitment is part science and part art. If we have invited you to meet us, we did so because we thought that you could do the job; that’s “the science”. Your motivation, attitude and presentation are “the art”.” Taking it a step further from Deborah’s thoughts, when adding the science and the art to the knowledge of making an informed hiring decision- one that gives you better chances of hiring someone who will go the distance with your organization, recruitment becomes a masterpiece.