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Recruiting Well-Rounded Candidates

By Gina Fedeli (1027 words)
Posted in Human Resources on October 11, 2012

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By Gina Fedeli, President GCF Consulting, Inc.

Recruiting the right talent is hard work. High unemployment rates may swell your candidate pool, but sorting through all those resumes for the proper combination of skills and cultural fit can be grueling.  Given today’s lean and over-worked staffs in todays current job climate, the cost of onboarding a new employee is higher than ever and selecting the right candidate demands more due diligence.  Here are a few tools you can use to filter candidates, find the best fit, and minimize overall onboarding costs.


Aligning Hard Skills


First, filter your applicants based on whether they have the hard skills required for the position. Hard skills are tangible and measurable, therefore they are easy to vet. They include things like software proficiencies and certifications. Fortunately, if you have a promising candidate that lacks something on your checklist, hard skills can usually be taught.  However, you should determine ahead of time how much training you can accommodate. Keep in mind that there will already be a learning period and resources diverted just to train the candidate on organization-specific processes.


Assessing Soft Skills and Cultural Fit


Soft skills are related to personality and behavior. They indicate whether or not an individual will thrive in your company’s culture. Soft skills include communication and collaboration styles, as well as the ability to give and receive feedback. These skills can sometimes be taught, but this tends to be more challenging than teaching hard skills. Successful training depends on:


1)  The candidate’s willingness to be coached.

2)  The time and attention the manager or trainer has to provide in this area.

3)  The trainer’s experience and ability to be an effective coach.


Most organizations lack the in-house resources to handle this type of training. It is often time-consuming, and usually difficult to carry out and evaluate.  Don’t undertake this unless you’re confident that you have the time and talent necessary.



Evaluating Soft Skills


In-person interviews only provide a fraction of the insight required to evaluate an individual’s soft skill set.  Additionally, a DISC behavioral assessment can assist in determining how well an individual will function within the team. This assessment will not only help you understand whether or not there’s a cultural fit, but how to motivate and manage the individual.  We recommend that the DISC assessment account for approximately 25% of your evaluation.  DISCs are supported in an online format and determine an individual’s “behavioral type” to assist in deriving valuable management insights such as:


  • Will that candidate thrive in your organization’s culture?

  • Should your top individual contributor be promoted to management?

  • How can you better motivate and manage direct reports?

  • What can you do to avoid or resolve conflicts within your team?


There are four basic behavioral types.  Dominants are extroverted, adventurous and results-oriented, while Influencers are enthusiastic, persuasive and highly sociable.  Steady types are patient, good listeners and team players, while Compliant types are conscientious, analytical and precise.


A steady or compliant employee might be a star within your accounting or logistics department, but expecting such an individual to supervise others may be a setup for failure. Understanding the strengths, motivations and communication styles of your staff can improve their performance and prevent potential misunderstandings.


Recruiting Roadmap


Here are guidelines for attracting and assessing prospects:


1) Develop a job posting  (if it is an existing position, this information can be extracted from the internal job description):

  • Benchmark the necessary hard skills by:
    • Analyzing the responsibilities of current employees in similar positions
    • reviewing industry-standard specifications
    • examining your organization’s previous job postings
    • soliciting feedback from your team or management
  • Identify desirable soft skills, such as:
    • clear communication style
    • strong collaboration skills
    • willingness to give and receive feedback
    • effective multi-tasking
    • creative problem solving
  • List required education and certifications


2) Determine if recruiting will be handled internally or by an outside professional.  

  • If it will be handled internally, identify appropriate forums for posting. Usually, job search websites are ideal. 
  • For example, dice.com is great for listing IT openings, whereas careerbuilder.com may be better for operational and administrative positions.


3) Use multiple evaluations in your hiring process:  

  • Phone interview (screens for candidates you want to interview onsite)
  • In-person interviews (multiple rounds, depending on the level of the position)
  • Technical test (if applicable)
  • DISC Assessment
  • Background check
  • Reference check


Don’t underestimate the importance of professional chemistry.  Would you want this person on your team? If a candidate has gaps in both hard and soft skills, don’t settle.  No matter how great your need, a poor hire will only make matters worse, draining time, dollars and morale.


Please join the conversation in 'This Week's Discussion'


Written by Gina Fedeli,
Project Management Expert for ManagingAmericans.com & President, GCG Consulting, Inc.


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Comments (3)

DANIEL QUIAMBAO posted on: October 15, 2012

For business owners seeking out new employees and recruits, they may thinking and maybe inquiring as to how effective is social media recruiting? The use of social media can be effective in recruiting best candidates and can be a great way to determine who the well-round candidates are for employment, and might help in clearing out the candidates that do not make the final cut when you are choosing new staff members to employ within your organization and using social media like linkedIn and facebook could make hiring managers/companies easily for them to give them in dept information which best candidates fit the job position their personal characteristics, educational backgrounds & credentials, personal interests, and previous/former employers. So this is a great way to decide whether or not the individual is a good candidate for your workplace

Jason McKinney posted on: October 15, 2012

From a hiring manager perspective, Internal or External networks have proven to be the best Talent Acquisition process for myself. Once I have received some viable leads, I determine the skill set required, personality, management style and accomplishments. I also ascertain what type of manager I am looking for. Am I looking for a Entrepreneurial Manger with the ability to turn nothing into something great or a Base Jumping manager that can take what I currently have and take it to the next level or a Turn Around manager with the ability to take a failing area and make it profitable again or a Status Quo manager that will keep the business as is and maintain what is already in place. Untimely, a hiring manager does not really know what they are getting until the new hire is in place. If they have not proven themselves in 90 days, then it is time to find another candidate.

Vivek Dwivedi posted on: July 1, 2013

This is Vivek Dwivedi, I am recently pass-out the MBA with International Business, from JGI , Banglore & have B.Sc. (Bio-Tech) from Banglore University.
I wants to precede my carrier anywhere in INDIA r ABROAD, my contact no-09026966926 n mail id is- vivek1321989@gmail.com

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