The Ideal Balance of Information and Intuition in Selecting Talent
Often, I am asked for the perfect formula for selecting candidates. Most managers and leaders want to know, what is the one thing they must do to make a great hire? The answer is not simple because hiring the right people is an art, not a science. Many organizations have used science to help assess applicants, but the actual decision is an art.
Finding and selecting the right candidate for each role is a process that requires judgment and discernment, but it also requires some intuition.
Will the candidate not only fulfill the current role, but can the candidate also grow into future opportunities? In my organization, we are building for the future, so every potential hire not only meets a current need, but also is a candidate for future roles.
One of the most helpful tools in helping to discern current and future fit is behavioral based interviewing. Behavioral based interviewing is based on the belief that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. So rather than asking a candidate about what they might do in a situation in which they might be unfamiliar, the candidate is asked about work they have actually done or experiences they have actually had.
Behavioral interview questions usually begin with words such as:
Tell me about a time when you . . .Give me an example of . . .How would your former supervisor describe . . .Who helped you accomplish . . .Describe how you accomplished the goal you set for . . .Expand on how the team you led worked together to . . .
These introductory words can lead to rich and information filled conversations that really inform a manager as to the potential fit for a candidate. These type of questions give deep insight into a person’s competency.
Evaluating the information requires skill as well and that’s why selection is an art and not a science. The answers to these type of questions are endless and often require several follow-up questions to fully understand the work and performance of the candidate. This style also allows for a manager to really get to know a candidate’s conversational and thinking style.
Science can give us a checklist of formulas that are likely to produce the right solution, but with little variation. Art opens us up to creative possibilities to leverage all the talent available to us for ever-changing business needs. For the perfect masterpiece, an artist uses different color palettes, brushes, surfaces and techniques. Selecting the right candidate for your organization can be just as challenging and creative and also rewarding.