In my view, everyone involved in the hiring process should have a framework for it. It is the single most important activity that goes into building a successful organization. After all, people make organizations and not the other way around. Before you jump into saying that organizations also teach people, I would like to punctuate my statement by stating that it is one set of people in the organization that set up practices that other sets of people learn from – so in effect, people are teaching people and in turn enriching the organization. The organization is the universe in which all things business manifest.

Therefore, building high Talent Density is vital for success.

The question is how does one do it?

There are too many conflicting and competing priorities that make hiring a process more complex than it has any right to be. Let’s ponder over some of those questions.

Let’s list down the key components that go into hiring a great candidate, not just someone suitable for the job! 

Meeting the Minimum skill requirements

  • This is the simplest part of the puzzle. A well defined JD should derisk this step.
  • Diligently verify all the skills that you believe are needed to be successful in a given role.
  • Does the candidate understand what is required of him/her?
  • Alignment : Does the candidate understand the growth potentials in the given role?

Cognitive headroom for future requirements

  • This is a bit tricky, how does one accurately measure how much headroom does the candidate have to cognitively expand in the role or in the organization?
    • Taking a stock of the things that the candidate has learnt, formally or otherwise in his/her current/last role is a good starting point.
  • Ask the candidate about his/her growth plans, how would he/she like to progress in career?
    • Ask the candidate what are the skills that they would need in order to get to wherever they wish to be in the future?
      • Ask them of the required skills, according to them, how many skills they already possess?
      • Do they have a plan in mind to learn the rest?
  • Is this assignment only going to be a means to pay bills for the candidate or something more than that? Having said that, I must qualify that there is nothing wrong in treating the job as just a job. That is a perfectly reasonable view to have in life.

Meeting eligibility criteria

  • This is the most boring and at the same time one of the most important tasks in hiring, if not the most important.
  • Check if the candidate is of the age, nationality, education and experience that is needed for the job.
  • Tick the boxes and move the material forward. It is that kind.

Compensation within the budget

  • This is a sensitive step in the process but relatively easy to execute.
    • Last compensation of the candidate. 
    • The budget 
    • The delta between the two. 
    • How impressed are the interviewers by the candidates and will they provide for the exception that is needed to go over and above the budget, in case getting the candidate around is not being facilitated by the provided upper cap.
  • Do watch out for offer hoppers and unreasonably greedy people, they almost always do not make great team members.

Cultural fitment 

  • I can not possibly overstate the vitality of this stage of assessment. 
  • Let me take you back to my opening arguments, that people make organizations. As such, it is critical that we bring into the pool a fellow companion. 
  • Brilliant people may also fail if they find it difficult to adapt to the culture of the organization.
  • Talk to the candidate about the culture of the organization that they are coming from. Things that they would like to change or improve upon.
  • How would they describe an ideal work environment?

Ability to hold a job

  • Getting a job is one thing and holding the job is quite another.
  • Experience prepares you for some things and some things become part of experience when you transition into a new role. 
    • This process is never perfect.
    • It is full of heartbreaks, for you and even for your employer – as both parties get used to one another, there is some steam that comes off for sure.
  • A good proxy to understanding how good the candidate will be is to understand from them about their past failures. How well did they manage to get over them?
    • Ask specific questions, try and bring in the below elements in the conversation. 
      • Data point.
      • How did the failure affect them personally?
      • How did they resolve the conflict?
      • What steps did they take?
      • If they had to go back in time and correct one thing in that failure, what would they have done differently?

These six steps are helpful but not all.

These steps will make you 80% sure of the candidate, for the rest 20% you’ll need to tap into other aspects of the personality of the candidate. 

Things like the below 

Personal value system:  A good way of getting to know it is to discuss with the candidate a controversial issue and ask for their views. Carefully consider the moral, social, ethical and legal side of the arguments that they are making to further their views.

Childhood: What kind of childhood did they have? When and if they choose to become parents themselves, what elements would they like to change?

Remember to remain subjective on thoughts and objective on skills. 

For example, technical skills like programming, analytics, communication etc can be assessed on assessment programs. Set the difficulty level carefully and then move with the results that you get.

A hiring process, however, is just as subjective as it is objective and for those elements of thoughts and frameworks, one will need to rely on good open-minded conversation. 

I hope this article has helped you understand the organizational perspective of hiring. 

Good luck. 

By lavkush