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Need Talent? Ask the Right Best Questions

The New Year brings with it resolutions to make this year better in some meaningful way than last year. You many have exciting goals, challenging objectives, and positions to fill with new employees.

What should you be on the lookout for?


Ouch or Ahhh
A good fit should not be underestimated. You should look for someone who will fit well and add to the effectiveness of your team. Do you know what your team lacks? Someone who is a bit different can cause others to stretch but if they are too different from everyone else, it will be jarring and possibly unproductive. Know the culture and norms of both the workplace in general and your team in particular.

Do It
Can they do the job? While a resume shows people in their best light, your job as manager is to determine if they ca actually do what they say they can do. You want to verify strengths and explore areas that need development. I’ve always been a big supporter of hiring for fit and training for skill. But some skills reveal fit.

  • Have they solved problems without guidance or support? How did they do that?
  • Do they know how to create a budget? What are the steps they take for any large project implementation?

These are not things that will be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Listen to the story they tell, if they really answer what you’ve asked about, and how much detail they provide. If they talk about ‘we’ rather than ‘I,’ it may be that they were on team that handled things and they didn’t actually have the responsibility.

How do they handle pressure? Every job comes with some stress and you want people who can rise to the occasion when things go from calm to challenging.  Asking some questions that create a bit of stress may reveal useful information.

  • Why do they think they are good at this job?
  • What do you think is the most stressful situation you’ve ever had to handle? How did you rise to the challenge? What did you learn about yourself?
  • What kinds of people were challenging for you to work with in your last job? How did you manage that?
  • What did you think of our website? What suggestion do you have for how it could be better? Not only does that put them on the spot about a suggestion for improvement, it will let you know if they’ve done some homework about your organization.

If someone tells you they don’t experience stress, they like and get along with everyone, or they think your website is perfect as it is, I’m betting that they wat to keep you from the truth. Dig deeper!

Forget finding a ‘plug & play’ employee. The person who can already do the job is NOT looking for this job/your job, they are looking for the next level of opportunity. Hire the person who wants to learn and is looking for a manager who wants to develop talent. Stop hoping for someone out there who will make your life easier by not requiring you to manage them, develop them, or foster engagement.

Ask the right best questions to find the person who will strengthen your team and then manage their development so that they can

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 at 4:48 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.