By John Lenihan, Consultant, MSA Executive Search
How can talent acquisition professionals prevent candidate misfit scenarios (refer to Common Reasons for Candidate Misfits) from happening to ensure a successful hire and long-term placement? The first step is a thorough conversation with the hiring executive to understand as much as possible at the beginning before diving into the recruitment process.
The following are five examples of questions the hiring executive should be prepared to answer when starting a search along with a tip for each.
Question 1: Why is this position vacant?
- Tip: As obvious as this question seems, the answer is not always so simple. Whether the predecessor was terminated or voluntarily left the organization, it is important to take a step back and examine the factors that led to this vacancy in an open and honest manner.
Question 2: Whose input is most important when describing the “ideal candidate?”
- Tip: Have conversations with stakeholders immediately to obtain their input before starting the search. Ideally, there will be consistency in the feedback, but it can also be helpful to uncover any disharmony or gaps in perception between stakeholders.
Question 3: What will success look like for this position?
- Tip: Identify several goals and objectives based on the areas of first-year emphasis for the position and department.
Question 4: What are the obstacles to success for this position?
- Tip: Determine roadblocks that may exist that would hinder the interviewee’s ability to achieve his or her goals in alignment with the identified goals and objectives.
Question 5: What do you want to stop, start, and continue?
- Tip: This question asks us to look at the past, present, and future of a position. Use it to identify problem areas from the predecessor—areas in which the predecessor performed well that you’d like to see the successor continue, and new strengths you’d like to see the successor acquire.