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Insightful Interviewing - 5 Strategies for Hiring the Right Candidate

Written by  Komal Junejo

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Employees are the backbone of any business, and hiring quality staff is one of the most important tasks for small business owners. This is especially true in the commercial cleaning industry, where your labor force plays such a crucial role in the success of your operation. While large companies often have the luxury of a well-trained human resources department, small business owners are often left to deal with finding, interviewing, and hiring applicants largely on their own. For this reason, it’s vital that small business owners take the time to understand the ins and outs of effective recruiting and hiring.

It’s important to keep in mind that while a candidate may have a stellar resume and look great on paper, there are many other factors to consider when finding someone that not only performs well, but fits in with your company and its culture. Since having to terminate an employee after only a few months on the job wastes a huge amount of time and resources, it’s important that you are extremely diligent when recruiting new staff. The following five strategies are aimed at streamlining your interviewing process, so you can find and retain the best employees.

1. The rule of threes: When attempting to fill a job vacancy, interview at least three different candidates, in three different locations, using three different interviewers. The more people you interview, the better your chances of finding the right candidate. Even if the very first person you meet seems ideal, take the time to be certain by interviewing at least two other people. The setting of the interview can also play a role in drawing out a candidate’s personality, so after the initial interview in your office, schedule a couple additional interviews in more informal settings, such as a coffee shop or park. Having more than one staff member interview the candidates is also beneficial because this will give you a more rounded perspective of each person and ensure that they can get along with multiple people at your company.

"Find someone who is both passionate about their work and a good fit with your company and its culture."

2. Identify critical traits and build interview questions around them: Before you interview someone, establish a list of at least five qualities the ideal candidate will possess, so you can create a mental picture of what that applicant’s profile will look like. These qualities can include actual jobs skills, personality traits, or both. After those characteristics have been determined, you can tailor your interview questions to help pinpoint the candidate’s qualification for the role. For instance, if you are looking for someone with strong communication skills, you could ask, “Can you give me an example of a time when you faced a challenge at work and used your communication skills to overcome it?” Be creative with your questions. Remember that applicants will be well rehearsed when it comes to stock questions, so provide them with scenarios that they would actually face on the job to see how quickly and well they adapt.

3. Dig deep on references: To get a more in-depth perspective on a candidate, go further than the references listed on the applicant’s resume. These are the people the candidate has specifically chosen to give positive feedback, so dig deeper. Ask the cited references if they can provide additional references. Additionally, take a look at the applicant’s LinkedIn profile and follow up with some of their connections.

4. Hire for both passion and fit: Find someone who is passionate about their work and a good fit with your company and its culture. Learn about the people behind the skills. Are they adaptive? You want someone who is able to adapt and evolve in the workplace as the situation demands. Take notice of whether they ask good questions and seem naturally curious. Being curious and taking an interest in your company is often evidence of a high level of creativity and breakthrough thinking. Find out whether or not they are team players and enjoy working with others. Enthusiastic people can help build a positive work environment—not only will they motivate themselves, but they can also motivate their fellow employees. Seek out candidates that can easily admit their mistakes and tell you what they’ve learned from those experiences. You want to find someone who is constantly willing to learn and grow from their past experiences.

5. Don’t oversell the position: In order to find someone who lasts longer than the “hiring honeymoon,” make sure you let the candidate know exactly what the job entails without sugarcoating things. Be honest and detailed about the position; don’t make the job sound better than it actually is. Remember, if you oversell the position and a candidate gets hired, they will be more inclined to leave when a better opportunity comes around—if they even stay that long. For the most success, you want employees that are excited about the actual position they will be filling, instead of a fictionalized version of the job. Resources Hradvice.com, Monster.com, bankrate.com, inc.com, allbusiness.com, fastcompany.com, and totalhumanresources.com.

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