Avoid Hiring the Evil Twin:
Six Strategies to Hire Right the
By Gregg Gregory
extended the offer to Kyle, he was sure he had hired the best
candidate for the position. Rob had checked all of Kyle’s
references and previous employment records, and based on this
information along with his interviewing skills, Rob knew Kyle had
the skills necessary to do the job. After all, Kyle had nearly four
years of experience with another company performing many of the same
two months after Kyle started, Rob noticed that Kyle was not
performing as he’d expected, and was actually performing at sub par
levels. To top things off, he was showing up late to work. While
Rob had gone through the interview process designed by his company,
taking all the precautions did not seem to help, and somehow he
ended up with “evil twin” of the man he interviewed.
situation is a common problem all businesses must deal with. All
too often the interview goes great; the candidate has the skill set
and possesses the knowledge to perform the duties. You check the
references and previous job history and all checks out just fine –
what seems to be the problem? Remember, some people are just great
hiring a new team member can be a shot in the dark, it doesn’t have
to be. By following a few simple strategies you can avoid hiring
the evil twin.
Use an up-to-date (and accurate) job description: So many
organizations take this for granted, even though it is the
foundation to the hiring process. A job description should reflect
what the employee is to do on a regular basis, not on a
daily basis. In addition, a job description is not how
the employee will be evaluated, rather it should define what his or
her duties are.
Define a minimum skill set requirement: The key here is a
minimum skill set requirement, not all of the skills necessary to do
the job. If a candidate has all of the skills you run the risk of
having them burn out more quickly, thus increasing your turnover
rate. Think about it this way – if you worked in the medical
profession and the position required an RN certification, would you
hire someone with an LPN certification?
tool to help with this is a skill set test, which will make sure the
candidate has the skills necessary. This way when your candidate
claims to be proficient in a software program, you can measure their
skills. It’s important to have several of your current employees
take the same test prior to interviews so you have a baseline to
measure your candidates against.
Have members of the team assist in the interview: Chances are
you won’t be the only person working with the new hire, so get a
couple of senior team members to conduct a short interview to make
sure the new hire will fit in. As an added benefit, having team
members involved allows them to be part of the process and remain
invested in their growth as well as the development of the company.
everyone involved in the interview process ask one or two of the
exact same questions. This accomplishes two significant factors:
consistency in the responses and the candidate’s message
the candidate’s frustration level – If the prospective employee
gets annoyed at the third time the question is asked, you need
to ask yourself – Do you want that person on your team?
Ask probing questions: Think back to the basics of communication
– the person who is asking the questions is the person in control of
the conversation. If you have several preset open-ended questions
to ask all of the candidates you will get a better understanding of
each candidate from a comparative point of view.
Questions should evoke emotion when possible. This will allow you
to see how the candidate reacts in stressful and even ethical
situations. There are several good books strictly written about
interview questions; take time and search these out. Find the
questions that fit your industry or business. Remember not all
questions will fit your business so find ones that best suit your
a background check: A background check includes checking the
references and in many cases, utilizing an outside company to
perform the complete background check. Look at this example:
Deborah appeared to be a great candidate, yet when the complete
background check came back, it uncovered that Deborah did not
graduate from the college she stated on her resume. In fact she
never graduated from college. While the position did not require a
college degree, the fact that she lied on her resume was enough to
rescind the offer.
Hire on attitude: This seems like common sense (and it really
is) but so many employers think that the skills are the most
important thing. However, the top reason employees leave an
organization is conflict with a team member or supervisor, so
attitude is very important. If you say your employees are your most
important assets, prove it, and make sure the person you offer the
job to has the right attitude – also known as team chemistry.
January of this year, the West Virginia Mountaineers (ranked 9th
in the BCS poll) defeated a much higher ranked Oklahoma Sooner team
(ranked 4th in the same poll) in the Fiesta Bowl. Just a
few weeks before the match up, West Virginia’s head coach announced
he was leaving and would not coach the team at the Fiesta Bowl.
Bill Stewart (the special teams coach) was given the job in the
interim. After the win – during the Fiesta Bowl post-game interview
– Bill Stewart talked about the good chemistry of the team and
accredited that chemistry with pulling this group of talented young
men together defeat a the great Oklahoma Sooners.
bottom line is this. The skill of a person drives the will of a
person. A person who has all of the skills and lacks the will to
push and perform and peak levels is just not the right fit. You can
always teach new skills, but the will – well, they either have it or
they don’t. You make the call.
Read other articles and learn more
about Gregg Gregory.
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