Easter has passed and with it those colorful Easter eggs that are so much fun to decorate and hide. However, Easter eggs also have another meaning. They can be a secret feature or hidden message. This type of Easter egg is often found in movies, video games, or software. Did you know your candidates can also have Easter eggs? When you are hiring for your small business, you should be searching for these hidden messages and secrets. Some may be exactly what you need while others may have been left out in the sun too long and are starting to stink. There are several ways you can find your candidate’s Easter eggs.
Be aware of your bias.
When you interview people for your business, look and listen not only for what you want and don’t want, but also for your own biases. We all have unconscious biases formed as we grow up that we learn from parents, teachers, community leaders, and friends. Based on our individual experiences, we form opinions and make judgments that may not always be correct.
I hated Brussels sprouts until I was forced to eat them in a social situation and found that when properly prepared, they’re delicious. Because I’d never tasted properly prepared Brussels sprouts, I decided that they were not for me. Because of my bias, I’d been missing out on this healthy food for years.
In business, we have preconceived ideas about people. We hear all the time that Millennials are entitled, lazy, and don’t have a good work ethic. We Baby Boomers sit back and feel superior because we are hard workers who understand we must work our way up the ranks. Your bias may cause you to overlook some of the most talented people or to hire someone who just doesn’t fit in.
When you interview, be cognizant of your biases. This self-awareness is hard work; however, you will be better equipped to spot those Easter eggs.
Ask the right questions.
Discovering the truth about candidates requires strategic thinking about the information you need to make an informed decision. Strategically crafting interview questions is an art form that anyone can learn with a bit of time and effort. Interviews are the single most important piece of the hiring process, and yet, it’s the one piece that isn’t done well.
Most small business owners ask traditional interview questions that have been used forever. Those questions don’t work. Savvy candidates have researched all the “correct” answers, and they have learned to tell us what we want to hear. We think we’ve gotten smarter by asking behavioral-based questions. Unfortunately, most of those questions give the candidate clues to the answer you want to hear.
The answer is to ask Insightful Interview™ questions to reveal a true picture of what a candidate is really like. One of my favorite Insightful Interview™ questions is “Could you tell me about a time when you lacked the knowledge or skills to complete a task?” This question requires more than a canned answer. We’ve all been in situations where our knowledge and skills were lacking. A candidate’s answer to this question reveals more substantial information than the canned response to the weaknesses question.
Find your candidate’s Easter eggs by asking Insightful Interview™ questions that reveal their values and behavioral characteristics. You can download my favorite question here.
Verify that your beliefs match reality.
A common hiring mistake is focusing only on your candidate’s skills and ignoring the more important attribute—cultural fit. Consider the mindset, personality traits, and behaviors your most successful employees possess because these are reflections of your company culture. If you were to be honest and examine the traits of the unsuccessful people you’ve hired in the past, you would probably find those traits were missing. Maybe there were even a few Easter eggs you missed.
We listen to candidates answer our questions and wonder where the truth is. Most candidates have rehearsed answers to common questions and try to dazzle us with a lot of jargon and buzzwords while giving us little substance. When you strip away all the jargon and buzzwords, do you have an answer? Or do you have only words that lack substance? If you find something that doesn’t seem to fit, explore it further. Ask more insightful questions and carefully consider whether the red flag can be overcome through mentorship or training.
Some of the worst hiring stories I’ve seen involve failing to see what’s right in front of you. The good news is that if you take the time to identify your perfect employee and apply some strategy to your recruiting process, you will find your candidate’s Easter eggs.
If you want to find your candidates’ Easter eggs, schedule your insight session today or call me, send an email, or text MOMENTUM to 480-418-1411 to get more in-depth, step-by-step recruiting help. And, the best part is that it’s FREE!