Hiring The Right People Part 4: Vetting The Right Candidate

You have done everything right so far. You created an ideal candidate profile so that you know exactly the kind of person to look for.

I should mention here that this process is for hiring a top line first report in your organization. 

You wisely used your network, spreading the word of what position you were trying to fill and the kind of person you wanted to fill that position and it paid off. You have managed to find a  number of good possible candidates for the position. There is one in particular that you are excited about and now it’s time to start looking into that candidate.

It’s time to start your vetting process to make sure this is the right person for the job.

Here is what you need to do.

    1. Does the candidate meet your criteria? Do a double check to make sure that the candidate truly does fit the ideal candidate profile you have already developed.
    2. Review the resume. Prepare for the first contact by learning everything about that person. Chances are you already have her resume, and you have all of the basic information including her work experience, education and even organizations she belongs to. 
  • Beyond the resume. Take a look at the candidate’s social media posts to see what he is doing on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.  These posts can tell you about the person both literally and holistically. You can learn about the true person through his Twitter posts and other social media.
  • And check Linkedin too: It is very important to check out her Linkedin profile. This can give great insight into the kind of person, the kind of professional this person really is. Is she in front of her peer group? Is she writing posts, for example technical posts if she is an engineer? Does she have a lot of connections? The more connections a person has is an indication of that person’s position in the industry. The number of connections is often a clue to how good a salesperson she is if this is the position you are looking for her to fill.
  • That first call: Prepare for that call now that you are armed with a pretty good understanding of whom you are talking to. Be prepared for the call with a list of questions you want to ask, but at this point please keep it casual. Let the candidate relax by making the tone of this call friendly to the point of even folksy. If this can be a Zoom call rather than a phone call that would be even better. Get him to talk about himself, get him to relax and be at ease enough to talk candidly about himself. Ask questions like:
      1. If you could have any job in the world what would that be?
  • What would you be doing if you did not have to work?
  • What do you like to do when not working?

After getting the person to talk about himself, you can get into the position you are talking to him about. Be very candid about who you are looking for. Talk about your company and what this person would be expected to do for the company. Be specific about what the job demands will be. I would even suggest talking about the compensation package. It is very important that you lay it all out on the table from the very beginning. Don’t be afraid if you mention something that might turn the candidate off. It is better to do it now than later after you have spent a lot of time and money on a lost cause. The purpose of this first call is to make sure that the person fits your ideal candidate profile and could be the right person for the job.

  • The visit and interview process: When you have done all of your pre-vetting and screening it is now time to bring the candidate into the company for the more formal interview process. This visit will consists of:
    1. A company tour
    2. Introductions to the key people
    3. Insight into the company’s history and your plans for the future
    4. How the person would fit into the organization
    5. A series of half hour interviews with his potential peers
    6. It is important that at the end of the day you take the candidate to dinner to spend time with him in a more relaxed atmosphere. A lot can be learned during this time
    7. And finally, if you feel that the day went well, be encouraging, say something like “things look pretty good, we’ll be back at you in a few days.” But do not hire the person on the spot! Remember to hire slowly and you still want to get feedback from the rest of your team. And of course you have to check the person’s references.

 It is very important that all of the first reports get the opportunity to spend time with the candidate since you want them to have a stake in the hiring process. Ideally you should plan for the interview process with each of the interviewers assigned to cover a different aspect of the process. One person can discuss the candidate’s employment history over all. Another can talk about the candidates outside activities like what they enjoy doing when not at work. Another can discuss personal career goals while another can ask about challenges the person has faced and how she handled them.

The team will later get together and share what they have learned and make the decision to hire or not hire that candidate.

Make sure that this is a good and open discussion with everyone taking part. And then make sure that either way you come up with your decision.

If that decision is to hire the person then start putting together the offer letter. More on that next time.

It’s only common sense.