How to hire a suitable candidate to meet tomorrow’s challenges when none of us really knows what tomorrow holds for us? What are the criteria you use in recruiting when the competences needed today might be obsolete next week?
My grandparents were hired for their muscular power, height or another physical strength. These were the features that were needed in factories and farming fields. My parents and myself got our first jobs based on our grades, appropriate schooling and a suit that fit just perfectly. Later it was semi easy to move forward with your career when you cv had a long list of reputable employers.
Claudio Fernández-Aráoz (ex-McKinsey and advisor at Egon Zehnder) challenges us (Harvard Business Review) to focus on the potential of the candidate. Let’s dig a bit deeper to what potential is and how to look into one’s potential in the recruiting and interview process. And what to do once true potential is finally imported to the organization.
Fernández-Aráoz divides potential to five skills:
So how can you recognize potential in job interviews? Fernández-Aráoz advises us to put a lot of effort to the questions we pose when finding out more about the candidates professional and personal background.
It would be useless to ask ”Are you visionary?” or ”How determined are you on a scale from 1-5?”. Instead focus on questions such as:
In sum: if you are hire a chef, don’t forget to ask her to cook a meal!
Truly capable hires – let’s call them high achievers – are kept happiest and most committed once they are given a clear set of responsibilities and the power to make magic. High achievers should regularly and gently be pushed outside their comfort zone so that they can truly help the business grow: that’s most likely why they were hired in the first place!
I strongly believe that all of these skills – motivation, curiosity, vision, commitment and determination – can be learned. Few of us were born with at least all of them. I trust these skills are needed at any job already today and more and more in the future. Thus they also gain more importance in managing and steering one’s own career towards a happier (work) life in general.
Source: For more information on Fernández-Aráoz’s thoughts, you might want to start for example here.
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