In my experience of hiring for the last five years, I’ve found that it boils down to kind of five key things that you want to look for to identify and hire the best talent.
How well do they look on paper?
It can say a lot about a person with how much thought is put into their resume versus just a couple of things slapped onto a piece of paper.
Are they passionate about something?
Is there something they really care about and something that they truly love? That passion is going to reflect in their work.
How well do they handle mistakes?
Do they own up to their mistakes and take accountability for it and grow from it, or do they blame someone else?
Do they meet your company’s standards and your core values?
You don’t want to sacrifice your standards and core values because you’re going to get people that don’t align to the same thing that you do.
Do they have good character
Character is the number one thing that you want to look for in a candidate, even more than their skill set. You can’t teach someone to have good character, you can teach skills. If you have a good training program you should be able to train skills, but in my experience, you can never fix someone’s character. It just won’t work.
Now, I have gone against my five rules at times. Often it was in a situation where I was understaffed and needed to hire talent quickly. So I thought, maybe this person’s character is not exactly what I’m looking for, but man, they have the skills and maybe I can coach character. I’ll be honest, it never works. I find myself having to let that person go and I cause damage to my team.
At the end of the day, going against these five key things is not the best thing to do. It usually results in hiring candidates that do not benefit my team, cause disruptions and often do not last long with the company.