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Finding the right fit



I’ve been fortunate in my career to hire many individuals within my own team and be part of some great and not so great internal processes of hiring. I was talking with a manager at another company and discussing the current situation many of us are finding ourselves in; its hard to find the right person… or anyone in some manner. I cannot recall a time in my career when I have seen so many open and great positions throughout not just the state of Oregon but across the country. For many individuals that have been waiting for that right time to take the next step, there is no better time that right now.


As a hiring manager though, it is more important than ever to hire the right person for the position and the organization. One wrong hire can destroy a good team’s dynamic within a few days. A great hire can change a bad team’s dynamic in an instant as well though. So how do you know what type of person someone is going to be? Do you hire skill over attitude? Or personality over education? Tricky questions with no right answer, per say. It may just be a personal or organizational opinion based on who is doing the hiring and what your organization needs.


My choice? I will always hire attitude over skills. The reason is simple for me. I can teach skills. I can’t teach attitude. If someone is an easy-going person that can show they are not afraid to try something new or learn a new skill within their job or future job, that is the key driver for me within creating a great team. Having all the skills and education in the world is meaningless to me if you can’t work together with a team or an entire organization on a goal.


How do you find that person? Well, you can be direct in asking questions during the interview process. This is probably the most direct way to ask a potential team member. Tell us about a time when you had to learn a new skill or teach someone a new skill. Do not be afraid to ask an off the wall question though in the process. There are many times in all our jobs where we get asked odd questions and we are not sure how to answer. One of my favorite questions during the interview process is, if you were an animal what kind of animal would you be and why? Another question I love is something along the lines of, are their more doors or windows in the world and why?


A great opportunity for hiring typically do not come around too often. Make sure that you are hiring the right person by also having the right job description. An opening on the team is an opportunity for everyone to review what they do and why they do it. It is an opportunity to review how your team members are working. They can help you identify where they believe they need more support. Listen to your team members that live their work every day. As a manager and leader, it is your responsibility to make sure that your team have the resources they need to do their job effectively and efficiently. If they need more support in payroll over accounts payable, then make sure that is reflected in the job description. If they need more supervision to ensure tasks are getting done on time, make sure that is reflected in the job description.


Who is helping you during the interview process? Will you have a panel of managers? Will you have a member from each department within your division? Do you bring in outsiders from the organization or the city in general to help identify the best choice? These are all opportunities to consider helping make sure you are hiring the best candidate. Would you invite someone from Public Works to interview a payroll accountant? Why or why not? Does a resume with less experience draw you away from an interview? Who are you missing out on? It may be that perfect next hire.

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