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How to Hire Wisely Over a Cold One: The 3 Part Formula for a Thorough Potential Hire Evaluation

It’s been said that voters tend to choose the presidential candidate with whom they would most like to share a beer.  Known as the ‘beer factor’, it really drills down to one of the most simple and earnest tenets of human nature: people like and support others who make them feel comfortable and seem to share common ground.  Likeability often plays prominently in hiring decisions, too. It’s only natural to want to hire the guy who laughed at your jokes, or the woman who shares your passion for hockey, or just the candidate with whom you had an easy, comfortable rapport during the interview. After all, we spend a lot of time with our colleagues in the office (and sometimes over the occasional beer), so it is important that a candidate’s personality meshes well with the company culture.  But cultural fit is only one part of the employee assessment equation, and it’s important to weigh other factors to ensure the best hire overall.

Ideally, the potential hire evaluation will consist of three elements: cultural fit, credentials, and a non-biased assessment, says John Daugherty, President of Career Partners International Kansas City.  This formula helps to balance subjective qualities, such as likeability and fit, with more objective measures, so that your evaluation of candidates is well rounded and informed.

1)      Credentials

Credentials such as education, experience, and job-related skills are crucial to ensuring that a candidate has the capabilities to perform the functions of the job successfully. With specific, well-written position requirements and some keyword scanning, candidate credentials can generally be filtered in the first phase of recruitment while sorting through resumes. But be sure to ask probing questions during the interview process about past experience and skill competence level. What looks good on paper does not always translate to the real world. Having a candidate elaborate on past experience or how they plan to use their knowledge in a potential new role can help you determine if their credentials can help your company achieve their goals.

2)      Cultural Fit

Cultural fit often boils down to beliefs and behaviors and is usually evaluated at the gut level. You will want to ask yourself “How well does this person fit in with the rest of the team?”  Fit is best understood when you consider a specific candidate within the context of your organization’s culture.. A potential employee may express and exhibit the characteristics, language, and values that exist within the organizational culture, or quite simply they will not. The potential hire whose values, beliefs, outlook and behavior are congruent with those existing within the current organization is likely to be a good fit. 

3)      Critical Assessment

An unbiased assessment is the most overlooked, but equally important, aspect of candidate screening. Generally administered by an outside party, such as a talent management firm, an objective assessment provides a critical neutral perspective on a candidate’s eligibility. The MPO Survey is an assessment tool that measures seven work related Personality Traits and seven perceptions of how an individual believes they must behave in their job. This assessment measures and validates competencies along with strengths and development areas, and provides companies with external views on the candidates to be hired or promoted. Since hiring managers are only human, sometimes the ‘beer’ factor or a stellar resume can have an overly potent affect on the hiring decision. Since the MPO meets the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and is administered by a third-party, it helps to balance the effect of personal bias and subjective measures in the selection process.

So next time you find yourself chatting away with a friendly candidate who you could imagine having a beer with, know that it’s a good sign! But also remember to incorporate credentials and critical assessment in your evaluation strategy. When you invest the time and effort upfront to carefully select the right employees, you ultimately save time and money in the long run – time and money for company happy hour with your team!

For more information about the MPO and other employee evaluation resources, visit http://www.cpikc.com/ or contact jdaugherty@cpikc.com

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