3 Tips to Hire Right — Every Time

by Jobbatical May 18, 2016

Hiring well is an art, but you don’t have to be Michelangelo to master it. Sourcing the right candidate in the digital age isn’t about industry skill per se, but a trio of intangibles that will determine whether this new hire helps your business soar, or drives your venture into a digital ditch. Start here:

Interest in your business

That’s a given, you say? Founders and team leaders who are passionate about their company, new app, or unique service tend to assume everyone shares such single-minded devotion. But this can be a disastrous oversight.

Remove those rose-colored virtual reality glasses and take an objective look at your potential hire. Suppose you’re a MaaS (music as a service) startup, streaming customized solutions for brands and retailers. It’s useful if your candidate likes — loves — music, in a range of genres. This might be the one time when a candidate bopping into the interview with earbuds in place is totally appropriate.

On the other hand, if she admits she prefers a quiet work environment for better focus, you may want to think twice about whether this candidate is the best fit for your team, regardless of how superbly she can code.

Passion also matters because an Internet business flies by the cyberseat of its pants. New hires need to be able and willing to take control and navigate the interstellar mysteries of your industry without a lot of handholding. If they’re not committed to what you do, how motivated will they be to learn about your products and business?

A member of mosaicHub, the entrepreneurs’ social network, recently posted a question in their community forum that yielded some useful and entertaining responses: “What’s your favorite question to ask when interviewing candidates?”

Diverse experience

Whereas once upon an analog workplace, hiring managers sought candidates whose resumes demonstrated job continuity, in the digital space eclectic carries more byte. You might say the ideal candidate is someone who’s pixelated — and we don’t mean drunk!

You want a candidate with a “checkered” past, and present passion. If your potential hire has jumped jobs every year or two to accelerate his learning curve, this signals a go-getter who is growth oriented, and flexible enough to wear multiple hats as your business evolves.

Delve into how your candidate has developed as a result of these diverse roles and responsibilities. Someone on a growth trajectory can accomplish more in three months than a seasoned candidate who has followed a staid career path and lacks long-range vision. The future belongs to the adaptable. As author William Gibson (who coined the term “cyberspace”) said, “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.”

Omni-centric focus

The work world in the digital age may be distinct from the dinosaur jobs of yesteryear, but certain aspects remain the same: candidates seek a salary and perks that complement the position. This is normal. However, if your potential hire has a bad case of “I” strain, she may be too nearsighted for your needs.

The right fit will be omni-centric: focused on what’s best for the business, the team, and the future — and able to make decisions from a macro perspective rather than from self-interest. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, shares important tips for ferreting out just how omni-centric a candidate might be.

Once you’ve got the dream team in place, you’re ready to rocket. If Apple could launch a global venture from a garage, when the Internet was merely a twinkle in visionary minds, in Web 3.0, everything is possible. Happy flying.

Originally published at jobbatical.com

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