When hiring for a new role, consider three ways of framing the position:
Executional vs. Leadership
We also think of this area as tactical vs. strategic. And we further delineate it in this way: Is this a new role or function with no prior benchmarks? Or, is this a replacement hire or adding to an existing team with some prior benchmarks? If it’s the former, you want to understand as many expectations as possible for the new role before interviewing; if it’s the latter, use what you know to drive the interview process.
Structured vs. Unstructured
This bucket can also be viewed from the perspective of more established companies vs. start-ups. But it’s not always based solely on the type of company. Some companies have unstructured divisions or teams within a larger structured environment. Either way, you have to understand both the company’s structure and what the candidate is looking for in a work environment.
Hard Requirements vs. Soft Requirements
What are the three things you deem necessary for the role, and what are the non-starters if the job seeker does not have them in place? What skills or experiences are preferred? Define the non-negotiables, what’s nice to have and what’s miscellaneous. Ask yourself if the hard requirements are truly hard requirements. Are you thinking too narrowly? And is the role in its ideal form actually fillable? Too often skills that are very rare and/or can be easily learned, are considered must-haves. Top talent will want to learn new things - the ability to learn new things is the best way to attract great people.
Beyond these buckets, consider the following:
Assess the employee population that’s doing well at the company. Explore their backgrounds. And for those who didn’t or aren’t working out, find out why. Perform stay or exit interviews to learn what the challenges were.
Develop a mission statement for how the company defines itself and its goals and objectives. Look back five years and ahead five years.
The Hiring Process
Ensure that whoever is initially screening candidates understands the domain area you’re looking to address. Get in sync with the hiring manager.
Re-visit the company’s core values and explore if the candidate aligns with them.
Decide if you’re looking for a jack-of-all-trades or a specialist. Because there are rarely positions to fill that fall in between these options.
The Job Seeker
Find out why the job seeker is looking for work.
Are they curious about the company, their career and themselves?
If they hate their current company, ask what’s behind that. And be careful of anyone that is too negative about their former company in the interview. There’s a high likelihood that negativity is an everyday thing.
When asking about their current job and the current environment, ask if they know what they like about the work they’re doing. Also, inquire about why they’re looking for a new position.
Determine if they want to be managed or left alone. A lot of people say they don’t like to be micromanaged. That doesn’t mean they can be productive without micromanagement. Make sure you understand how they manage themselves and stay organized. Especially if they are remote or in an unstructured environment.
Check their work history to see if their career journey appears experiential or monetarily/seniority/title driven?
Encourage them to share what they’re expecting in terms of growth and career expectations in relation to their future with the company.