Hartman's Top 5 Hiring Tips

1. Competencies. Establish the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the job before you talk to any candidates. Some of the competencies should be job specific and some should be around culture fit. It is good to list them out and then determine how proficient you need the employee to be. If you are interviewing with others (see tip #3), make sure you are all aligned on the required competencies before talking to any candidates.

2. Realistic Job Preview. As honestly as you can, share what is amazing and what is challenging about working in your industry, your office, with you, and with the types of people he/she would interface. If it is not a fit, you want them to de-select themselves. When people take a job and find out later it isn’t as rosy as it sounded, they feel tricked and don’t feel guilty about bailing or badmouthing your company. Make sure the hiring process looks and feels like the way it looks and feels to work in your organization.

3. Panel Interviews. Interview candidates in pairs or trios. This allows you all to hear the same thing at the same time and confer afterwards on what you heard. Collectively you will more accurately pick up on what the candidate conveyed since we all have our own filters and ways we hear and understand things. Plus, the candidate gets a sense of how you interact with each other.

4. Behavior Based Interviews. For each of the competencies, develop one or more questions that will get the candidate to give specific relevant examples from their past….not hypothetical but real experiences. If you get stuck on how to word a question, make the candidate do the work. Such as……”Systems Thinking is an important competency for this role. What can you tell us from your past experience that demonstrates your Systems Thinking?”

5. Avoid Even the Perception of Discrimination. Don’t ask (even in small talk) how old the candidate is, if he/she has kids, is married, or anything about his/her health. Just list the requirements of the job (hours, days, physical requirements) and ask all candidates if they have any issue with the requirements.