Often, numerous interviewers are involved in screening and selecting new candidates – particularly in situations where there are a number of rounds of interviews as finalists are narrowed down. In these situations, often there are assumptions that everyone understands the "must-have" skills versus the "nice to have" skills and traits that can be critical to the culture and team fit. But experience has shown this is not always the case.
For example, you may have a hard time reaching a consensus on candidates if HR is focused on vetting
technical skills related to the company technology stack and the hiring manager is searching for analytical or creative talents and likes to challenge applicants with unrelated brain-teaser questions. It’s important that everyone involved in interviewing understands both the hard and soft skills needed for the role. Getting agreement on the critical requirements will help increase the odds that you make the right hire who will be successful and have a long tenure with your firm.
At Right Executive Search, we work as strategic partners with our clients in order to obtain the ideal candidate profile, including those essential hard and soft skills that increase the odds that the candidate who is extended an offer is a fit for both the company and role. In order to make sure our team and the client's team are all on the same page, we developed a template that is helpful in aligning critical requirements, interview expectations, vetting strategies, and questions-- and we’ve made it available here for download.
After collaborating with all the participating interviewers on what you are seeking in your candidates, you should have a good core profile for hard and soft skills and be able to update the template we provided. Then, each interviewer can complete the form, still enjoying a lot of freedom in the content and style of the questions, but aiming for common discoveries in the responses. These results should lead to an interesting and productive discussion with your colleagues as your compare your various results post-interview.
As always, the job requirements or the focus can change as the interviews progress. As such, this template is not a static document, but an evolving one that should be discussed, edited, and shared as needed with the full slate of interviewers in order to increase the likelihood of finding the "right candidate, right from the start." Will this collaboration and form require more upfront time? YES. Will it save you time, money, and aggravation in the long run? MOST DEFINITELY.
Remember one of my favorite quotes...
"A goal without a plan is just a wish."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Hope this is helpful to you and your team. Elisa Sheftic is the President and Managing Partner of Right Executive Search, LLC. Her expertise is placing mid- to C-level executives in the Financial Technology (fintech) and Financial Services industries. She communicates with Human Resources, Hiring Managers, and candidates on a daily basis and offers insights to clients and candidates on recruiting best practices. Elisa received her MBA from New York University and completed her HR post-graduate studies at Cornell University.
For more information, please visit our website: www.rightexecutivesearch.com.