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5 Tips to Spot A-Players

As professionals in staffing or HR, our goal is always to find the PERFECT fit for every position.  We want to talk with a candidate and be able to quickly fit them into a number of categories, for example:  are they are specially qualified, provide security as a long term investment, offer unique skill-sets, have a diversified background or maybe a hidden talent for us to uncover.  Any way we look at a candidate, and regardless of the box we look to check – we want that A-PLAYER.  We have uncovered a great piece that offers ideas or tips to help HR managers, recruiters and staffing professionals identify top talent in job interviews.


1.  Always Look for Potential, Not Just Past Success

Reading the resume will give you an idea of the aspirant’s merits and abilities, but previous achievements don’t mean future success. When looking for top talent, it may seem more appropriate to choose candidates who have done a similar job with brilliant results. However, when hiring employees for a startup or small company, the ability to grow and adapt to extremely challenging environments becomes more significant than previous accomplishments.

On top of that, a young, bright and self-motivated employee can perform much better with a lower salary than a big shot that can be approached by another company with a better offer anytime. 

2.  Ask the Right Questions

You have limited time during a job interview so make sure you ask the right questions to identify the top candidates. Each question you ask during the interview should have a clear purpose and well-defined criteria to measure if the applicant fits in with what the organization needs.

As an interviewer, you should craft questions to discover if the candidate has the following abilities: specific skills for the job, organizational and leadership skills, initiative, problem-solving mindset, the capacity to work under pressure.

3.  Make Applicants Complete a Task

A good way to test some of these skills is to present the candidate a real-life case study and ask him or her to come up with a solution. People who have the right thinking process will be able to come up with brilliant ideas even when given minimal guidance.

There are different types of tasks you can present to your candidate depending on what you want to address. For instance, if you want to figure out if the candidate is innovative and a fast thinker, you can pose a complicated puzzle. Here is a case in point:

“Mr. John has 25 horses, and he wants to pick the fastest 3 horses out of those 25. He has only 5 tracks, which means only 5 horses can run at a time, and he doesn’t have a stopwatch. What is the minimum number of races required to find the 3 fastest horses”?

You can find the answer and other interesting puzzles on puzzlefry.com

4.  Do They Ask the Right Questions?

The moment when you ask the candidate to ask any questions is a great opportunity to pay special attention and find out if you are in front of a genuinely talented employee.

As career experts recommend, motivated candidates show that they have “prepared and have thought it through. It’s important not just to ask a question that you could find the answer to online, simply so you have something to ask. Instead, ask a mixture of open questions, which help you to find out more, whilst displaying your interest in the company and the role”.

Questions about the culture of the company, training, current challenges, performance evaluations and opportunities for professional development show that the candidate is interested in working for the organization and looking forward to taking an important step in their career.

5.  Interview Top Candidates as Many Times as You Need

Don’t feel embarrassed about asking candidates to come for one more interview. You are making an important decision, and you need to be sure you are selecting the right person. You not only need an individual who can perform the job better than the others but also someone who fits in very well with the company’s culture and gets along with all the team members. To get their opinion, if possible, arrange an interview with each member of the team and your top three candidates. Once the best candidates get to know all your team members, you will have a better idea of which one is the best fit for the team.

Although conducting many interviews can be tedious and time-consuming, think about it as a necessary investment. Hiring the right person from the beginning will save you time in the future and will be decisive if you want to exceed the business objectives.

 

Adapted from “5 Tips to Spot A-Players in a Job Interview” by Maria Onzain Jul 3, 2017