• emilyhawkins28

Attract Your Dream Employee (and ask them the right interview questions)

Attract your dream employee

When was the last time you posted a job opening?

Maybe this story sounds familiar.

You needed a position filled or backfilled yesterday. Because of this rush you didn't spend time writing up a thorough job description. And because sifting through resumes is time consuming you left the job up to your HR department who then sent your half-baked job description to a talent acquisition firm.

Flash forward to the interview where you enjoy talking about the latest sports events, family activities and/or concerts you've been to recently. You think, "yeah, this person would work." But 90 days into their employment you're beating your head against a wall because they don't understand urgency, prioritizing or being organized, all of which you hold in high regard.

You blame the talent acquisition firm for not fully vetting people; but, let's look at the real culprit, you!

My Story

It was easy for me to write this because it actually happened to me. No one could find me the right people. Until one day, in a fit of frustration, I locked myself in my office and made a list.

The List

I was sick of complaining about my ill equipped team. It was time to put pen to paper and add some clarity to what I knew I needed in my team. I opened up a blank word document and typed out the attributes I was looking for in a team member. Two things emerged from this list.

One, I realized I had to write in only positive language. It's easy to speak in demanding tones of "don't do this" but these thoughts remain vague. "An employee will not be chronically late and ask to leave early," for example is simple to write but the converse is really want you want. "An employee will be so invested in his/her work that they lose track of the hours and care more about the thoroughness of their findings. They are almost giddy when they find the answer to the puzzle we've been collectively trying to solve."

My second realization came after completing the nearly my three page word document. I never once mentioned technical skills. I talked about attention to detail, caring, love of self, love of the team, belief in the company, purpose, fulfillment and work ethic. A technical skill can be taught to a monkey (I googled this and I found some legitimate accounts of this). But the skills mentioned above, the softer side, is much harder to convey and is ingrained in someone when they are living their god given talent.

Do Over

As my team inevitably turned over I pulled out my list of attributes and wrote a well thought out job description. I called headhunters personally and talked through my needs with them.

When resumes were selected and interviews held the questions I asked were much different.

  • Why do you get up in the morning?

  • What drew you to this profession?

  • When you are faced with several time sensitive tasks what do you do first? Walk me through your thought process.

  • What was the last good book you read?

  • I'm your teacher for the next 90 days and then you become mine. I will need you to guide me as you will be closer to the day to day. How do you see yourself doing this?

  • If you had a disgruntled customer/client how would you handle the situation?

Your Turn

The dream employee list became a real living breathing team and it was because I slowed down and brought clarity to my needs. Are you doing this when you hire?

#theinterviewseries #careeradvice #careercoaching #careerexploraton

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