One of the most important considerations managers should keep in mind when interviewing is an applicant’s growth potential. It’s an aspect of recruiting that often falls by the wayside when attempting to fill positions at a higher-than-normal rate, but it’s something that can set up a business for long term success, and should not be overlooked. This applies especially to entrepreneurs and startup companies if they are to maintain relevancy, efficiency, and extraordinary achievements.
Interviewing and hiring individuals who may be less experienced in your respective business field is inevitable, but is in no way an indication of poor recruiting. You will come across applicants who lack certain skills in your field, but are willing to learn, and even bring more talent to the table that your company may actually be lacking in.
However, an ideal candidate that you can see as a leader within your business one day is an individual who can provide evidence that he or she has completed similar work to that of your company in the past, and has a set of skills that can expand one, if not more areas of your business. Your job as a manager is to successfully find these potential leaders, and hire those that you feel can fill a managerial role one day. Doing so can be easier said than done.
A few things to look for in terms of characteristics of possible leaders are grit, will, and formality. As I have discussed in my previous blog, grit is an invaluable trait in the business world. It can bring forth courage, dedication, and confidence in an individual, and is oftentimes not something that can be teached. The willingness to ask questions, learn, and improve is just as important in finding applicants with leadership qualities. One who is truly engaged and genuinely curious about your business is one who displays devotion to the overall goal. By formality, I simply mean making a great first impression in regards to presentation and demeanor; something that will be important for client-facing presentations or meetings.
Don’t be afraid to test the waters in terms of an applicant’s leadership abilities. Ask challenging questions to which an accurate answer would display their capabilities over others. For example, the question “How can you improve this company?” is an extremely open ended question that leaves room for respectable bragging, but also challenges interviewees to think about long term goals and their overall understanding of your business.
Test their emotional intelligence as well. This may be something some managers see as frivolous, but a potential hire’s competence in answering questions that spark behavioral responses can provide insight into how their daily interactions may play out. Ask situational questions and how they would handle them.
Successful businesses are built from the ground up. That is no secret. The key to building and maintaining a business however, is hiring intelligently, and finding leaders to contribute to your business’s success. Consider any of the strategies mentioned above in order to truly make the most of your interviewing process.