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Hiring: What’s an “Ideal Fit”?

By Kristen Harris

In hiring it’s important to remember people are not commodities, individuals are not interchangeable. Even with equal skills or experience, every person is unique, and so is every company and role. It’s important to find the right person for the right position– that’s an Ideal Fit.

Imagine this scenario: you’ve interviewed two candidates for a position on your team, equally qualified from a experience and skills set perspective.

Candidate A is an ambitious go-getter that wants to constantly improve things and often questions the status quo.

Candidate B is complacent, likes routine, and doesn’t question rules, challenge assumptions, or make a lot of suggestions.

So, who do you choose? Wait a minute...before you answer that, you should know more about the role.

It’s in a government agency, helping people fill out and file three different forms, using a fairly outdated computer system. This role serves the public, and the people being helped come from all walks of life; some have special needs and require a high level of patience. The role isn’t expected to change much, and there’s little opportunity for advancement, growth or development.

Now, which candidate would you choose? While they may be equally qualified on paper, you had the opportunity to get to know their personalities in your in-person interviews. Candidate A would be frustrated in this role, trying to improve things, questioning the rules, pushing for better technology, and hoping for advancement that never comes. For the same reasons, Candidate B could be an Ideal Fit for this role. They’re more comfortable accepting things as they are, working within a system, don’t mind doing the same thing repeatedly, and are very patient. They could find it rewarding to be the person who helps others navigate a bureaucratic process.

To find an Ideal Fit, it’s important to assess the traditional areas of skill set and experience, as well as soft skills and how they align with your culture.

A client recently said to me “...this resume looks fine...I mean, they seem to have the right experience, but that’s just on paper. I know you’ve met them, and there’s so much more to someone than what’s on their resume.”

Exactly. There’s so much more than what’s on paper— both a candidate’s resume and a company’s job description. To find an Ideal Fit for both sides, you have to dig deeper. You don’t just want to fill a void, you really want someone who is a good fit, and vice versa.

Before you start assessing candidates, answer these questions:

  • What’s the culture of your company or team?

  • What industry are you in, and how that does it affect your culture?

  • Who are your clients? What specific needs do they have or type of service do they expect?

  • Are you growing? If so, how quickly? How will that affect this role?

  • What soft skills are important to your team? What are your values?

  • What soft skills are important in this role? What makes other people in this role successful (or not)?

  • How much opportunity is there for growth or development in your company? In this specific role?

  • What’s your managerial style? What do you expect from people who report to you?

When you hire someone you’re not just filling an empty seat, you’re committing to them and they’re committing to you.

Knowing yourself and company better, what you really need, and what type of person would be successful in the role helps identify an Ideal Fit. Putting the right person together with the right company is critical for long-term success.

Finding Candidates Through Social Media

By Catherine Lang-Cline

   It’s fast and it can be furious, but social media has become the great connector among us. We use it for everything, including finding candidates for the open role that we have. With access to so many ways to communicate, what works best? Let’s discuss:

   Job Board - Having a job board or job page on your website is a very effective way to communicate to would-be candidates. Many people that look for jobs target specific companies, and if your job postings are up-to-date you will get candidates that specifically want to work for you.

   LinkedIn - LinkedIn is viewed as the most professional of all the social media outlets. If you  and your company don’t have an account, you really don’t exist in business, so make sure that you have one. Once there, you can post a job that will be seen by your entire network and will hopefully be shared by your entire network.

   Twitter - Twitter will allow your job opening to be exposed to even more people in your network and, again, hopefully shared by others. Words in Twitter are limited, so the best thing to do is have a job title, brief description, and a link to where the job description can be seen in its entirety, as in a job board or your website.

   Facebook - Facebook starts to step into the more casual space of social media. Most companies have a page and it can be very easily utilized to post jobs and share it among others. But again, the space here is more casual, so be ready for that. You may also get an opportunity to get future candidates to like your page.

   YouTube - Many companies are finding that having a short video about the position and the company can be very effective. You can create your own company channel and show a variety of things that a candidate might be interested in beyond the job, like culture, values and ownership.

  Word is out and resumes come in. Maybe too many resumes? Maybe not enough of what you need? That age-old problem is the same as it was with the “want ads” it is just a different means of collecting names with new technology. If it becomes difficult or too time consuming, as always, have a staffing company or recruiter help you. Recruiters can do all of this and more for you and can get you that next perfect employee.