5 Questions to ask yourself before Hiring!

5 Questions to ask yourself before Hiring!

Author: Laura Mazzullo

Hiring in the HR space continues to get harder, as talent continues to remain well-retained, highly engaged and content in their current work environment. To entice talent to interview with your organization, to excite them to join your organization, and to ensure it is the right long-term fit for both parties doesn’t come without some preparation! This current market requires hiring managers to be more agile and flexible than ever before. I always find it interesting when I speak with a tech-savvy organization who says “one of our core values is creativity! We are agile, we are nimble…” and then when it comes to hiring, they are strict, rigid and narrow-minded. Let’s change this.

Shake things up! Do things differently. See things from a new perspective. Hiring should be fun and enjoyable. It also should be well thought-out, so you aren’t replacing this person again in less than a year. You want to make a smart, logical decision. You want to be happy. You want this new-hire to be happy.

You’ll need to understand exactly what you need, what’s missing now, what’s in it for someone… Don’t start interviewing or courting candidates until you have clarity. There are dozens of questions you should be asking yourself before you ‘hit the market’.

Let’s start with these 5.

Answering these questions should help improve your hiring efforts. You should become a more confident hiring manager in the process, become more efficient, decisive and wise about the hiring decisions you make!

Ready to hire? Before you do, get out a pen and paper.


1) What’s missing on the team now?

Your goal isn’t to look for ‘cultural fit’, but to look for cultural add. Thanks to @larsschmidt, this article completely changed the way I view the phrase ‘fit’ which can ultimately lead to a very biased way of hiring. https://www.forbes.com/sites/larsschmidt/2017/03/21/the-end-of-culture-fit/2/#23c6a15d1b10.

Ask yourself what’s missing on the team now? Both in soft skills and technical skills? What do you need that you aren’t getting now? Where can you see someone adding value to the team? Where will they make an impact? Define what this person will be able to improve, how they can help you and the current team. You should be able to articulate what value this person can bring, and how they can help you in a deeper way outside of just ‘completing tasks’.

2) How will we define success for this individual?

I see many hiring decisions go wrong because expectations aren’t clearly defined before someone starts. How are you onboarding someone? How will you train them? How much patience do you have for them to learn your organization/systems? What would you like them to achieve in the first 3 months, 6 months, and year? How will you know they are on track? How will you communicate that to them? Never assume a new-hire knows what success means to you. Most candidates I talk to want more feedback when they start a new job, as they want to ensure they are succeeding. Define this before they start to avoid any ambiguous or rocky beginnings with your new-hire. Some leaders just think about the ‘duties’ and ‘responsibilities’ of this person; they sadly don’t dig deeper to assess how the the individual will be successful or how that will be measured.

3) How can I improve as their future manager?

Hiring is a wonderful time to be self-reflective. You have a new person joining soon. How would you like to manage them? How do you want to be seen as their leader? What can you work on? What’s something you’d like to do better in the future? What is your leadership style and philosophy? Be aware of this, because it will help ensure you find someone who is looking for your style and approach. It also means that you will go into this new experience humble, ready to improve, and willing to adjust and evolve.

4) What would I want if I were the candidate?

Empathy. Kindness. Compassion. I can’t send this message loudly enough! Put yourself in their shoes. Before you hire. Think about it: If you were someone interviewing for this role, what would you want to know? What would excite you about it? How would this one compare to other similar roles in the market? How would you want the interview process to go? How would you want to be treated during the courtship? What would pull you away from your current employer to take this opportunity? This thought process will take you away from “what do we want as the employer” and into the mind-set of “what would a candidate want”.  Each candidate will have different motivators, goals…so your answers may not be reflective of theirs…but I still think this exercise helps enormously with empathy and seeing the hiring process from a more thoughtful, creative perspective. It’ll help you tune into: ‘What will the candidate want from us’ as the interview process begins. It may even help you get more confident about asking the candidate directly what they want…remember, this should be a match for both!

5) Who is the decision-maker?

Be very clear about who is running this process internally. So many hiring process go awry when there are ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’. Decide whose decision matters most. Even if hiring on a committee, there should be one person who has the final say. Typically it is the hiring manager, and I believe we should empower that person to be clear about their decision-making ability before we begin the interview process. Why? It allows them to have the confidence that they have to be thoughtful and wise about this choice. It helps them realize that their decision is a big one, and they should tune into all the questions above to really help them make a logical decision.

Let’s make 2018 the year we help Hiring Managers, well….hire better. #hirebetter

Because when we ask more questions, we find more answers. When we hire more thoughtfully, the outcome is much better. So, slow down. I know. You’re in a rush to hire. But, trust me. Slow down. Even if you give yourself a half of a day to write these questions down. Write down your answers.

Get some clarity. Then…you can begin interviewing!

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