Advice

What to Look for In Your Job Candidate

Is business booming? Congratulations! While this is undoubtedly an exciting period of time, don’t let the exhilaration of profit distract you from your essential duties. Maintain your customer service standards, upkeep your company protocols, and consider hiring extra help. When fielding your potential job candidates, there are a few essential qualities and standards you’ll need to keep in mind. You might be too caught up in the rush of revenue to remember what to watch for, so we’re here to help. If a bad hire happens to sneak past your radar, you could risk your rank and regress backwards. Avoid the threat by keeping a sharp eye during your hiring process, and look for these top three characteristics in your applicants.

Experience

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often employers neglect to fully assess experience level in their job applicants. With respect to education, don’t just note the degree listed on their resume; go further by asking them to speak on a school project, reward, accomplishment, or accolade. It seems as though nearly anyone can get a college degree these days – especially if using a bogus institution – and asking these tough questions can help determine whether they took their education seriously. If you’re interviewing a potential employee who’s been in the work field for quite some time, Honors awards or special recognition in college might be irrelevant. In fact, some employers will even allow years of experience in a related field to substitute for an esteemed degree, as older generations were less pressured to attend universities. This is acceptable, if you so choose, but make sure to ask more than where they worked and what role they held. Prompt them to retell a difficult work scenario which required solving on behalf of their ingenuity and masterful skill set. Remember, just because something is listed on a resume doesn’t mean it’s true; candidates can easily lie about where they’ve attended school or what jobs they’ve had, and getting duped could lead to a whirlwind of consequences. Take the time to perform a background check on your applicant to verify their education and employment history; innovative, online companies such as Transunion ShareAble for Hires makes this once-cumbersome task a piece of cake.

Communication

Strong communication skills should be a core quality in your applicant. This statement rings true not only during the interview process, but also throughout the correspondence leading up to it. Responses to emails should be prompt, courteous, and professional. If they write you off, it might be an indication that they don’t take their employment pursuit seriously. With a lack of priorities, this type of candidate might prove unreliable or unmotivated. During the interview, make sure they maintain eye contact and listen attentively. Your candidate should not only have opinions, but should be able to express them with confidence. While it’s true there’s a time and a place for direction, you’ll want an employee that can lead without fear or nervousness. Of course, everyone can get a little nervous during an interview, especially if it’s for a big role; however, strong interpersonal skills will likely make an employee better at interacting with your company’s customers or clientele.

Cognition

When we speak of cognition, we’re not talking about IQ levels. Being cognizant is more than just smarts; it requires a sort of spatial awareness. Your candidate should be awake and present, aware of their surroundings. Make sure they appear to be taking in their environment and are putting forth a conscious effort to meaningfully engage with you. This might seem silly or superficial, but if your applicant sounds like they’re rattling off a poorly rehearsed script, they might not be the best bet. You need an employee who can adapt to new situations with grace and has the ability to quickly think on their feet. Such qualities will likely make them a better problem solver, which could significantly cut down the amount of time you spend fixing mistakes.

Whether your batch of candidates came from a job-referral site such as LinkedIn, an online ad posted via Craigslist, a dedicated recruitment effort, or through in-house referrals, the qualities to watch for are all the same. When screening applicants, thoroughly vet their experience level. Make sure they can confidently communicate and demonstrate careful cognition. To accommodate your growing business, you need to hire the best. Watch out for these top three must’s and you’ll be more likely to employ a great candidate.

Is business booming? Congratulations! While this is undoubtedly an exciting period of time, don’t let the exhilaration of profit distract you from your essential duties. Maintain your customer service standards, upkeep your company protocols, and consider hiring extra help. When fielding your potential job candidates, there are a few essential qualities and standards you’ll need to keep in mind. You might be too caught up in the rush of revenue to remember what to watch for, so we’re here to help. If a bad hire happens to sneak past your radar, you could risk your rank and regress backwards. Avoid the threat by keeping a sharp eye during your hiring process, and look for these top three characteristics in your applicants.

Experience

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often employers neglect to fully assess experience level in their job applicants. With respect to education, don’t just note the degree listed on their resume; go further by asking them to speak on a school project, reward, accomplishment, or accolade. It seems as though nearly anyone can get a college degree these days – especially if using a bogus institution – and asking these tough questions can help determine whether they took their education seriously. If you’re interviewing a potential employee who’s been in the work field for quite some time, Honors awards or special recognition in college might be irrelevant. In fact, some employers will even allow years of experience in a related field to substitute for an esteemed degree, as older generations were less pressured to attend universities. This is acceptable, if you so choose, but make sure to ask more than where they worked and what role they held. Prompt them to retell a difficult work scenario which required solving on behalf of their ingenuity and masterful skill set. Remember, just because something is listed on a resume doesn’t mean it’s true; candidates can easily lie about where they’ve attended school or what jobs they’ve had, and getting duped could lead to a whirlwind of consequences. Take the time to perform a background check on your applicant to verify their education and employment history; innovative, online companies such as Transunion ShareAble for Hires makes this once-cumbersome task a piece of cake.

Communication

Strong communication skills should be a core quality in your applicant. This statement rings true not only during the interview process, but also throughout the correspondence leading up to it. Responses to emails should be prompt, courteous, and professional. If they write you off, it might be an indication that they don’t take their employment pursuit seriously. With a lack of priorities, this type of candidate might prove unreliable or unmotivated. During the interview, make sure they maintain eye contact and listen attentively. Your candidate should not only have opinions, but should be able to express them with confidence. While it’s true there’s a time and a place for direction, you’ll want an employee that can lead without fear or nervousness. Of course, everyone can get a little nervous during an interview, especially if it’s for a big role; however, strong interpersonal skills will likely make an employee better at interacting with your company’s customers or clientele.

Cognition

When we speak of cognition, we’re not talking about IQ levels. Being cognizant is more than just smarts; it requires a sort of spatial awareness. Your candidate should be awake and present, aware of their surroundings. Make sure they appear to be taking in their environment and are putting forth a conscious effort to meaningfully engage with you. This might seem silly or superficial, but if your applicant sounds like they’re rattling off a poorly rehearsed script, they might not be the best bet. You need an employee who can adapt to new situations with grace and has the ability to quickly think on their feet. Such qualities will likely make them a better problem solver, which could significantly cut down the amount of time you spend fixing mistakes.

Whether your batch of candidates came from a job-referral site such as LinkedIn, an online ad posted via Craigslist, a dedicated recruitment effort, or through in-house referrals, the qualities to watch for are all the same. When screening applicants, thoroughly vet their experience level. Make sure they can confidently communicate and demonstrate careful cognition. To accommodate your growing business, you need to hire the best. Watch out for these top three must’s and you’ll be more likely to employ a great candidate.

This guest post is courtesy of Alycia Coloma. She is a mother to four beautiful girls and loves to craft DIY projects in her spare time. She enjoys finding new ways to work with tight budgets and spreading her knowledge to parents everywhere. Alycia is a staunch advocate of continuing education and believes that an insatiable hunger for knowledge is the key to better finances, a warm family, and a fulfilling life as a whole. Her master’s in education from University of Colorado has allowed her to pursue a career as an educational consultant.

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Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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