Updated: Jul 22, 2022
Last week, I was catching up with a friend of mine -- let's call her Sara -- and we started discussing a person she had recently hired for a director level role. Things were going alright with this new hire, but it wasn't perfect. And this was the third person Sara had hired for this role, the first two being failures who didn't stay long.
"I'm beginning to think that maybe it's me!"
she said, exasperated. So, I asked her about the screening and interview process.
Believe it or not, you begin laying the groundwork for your future new hire as early as the interview process. Interviewing isn't just about getting to know the candidate; it's also about painting a picture about what the job entails. The candidate needs to picture themselves in that role, and they should picture themselves doing the job successfully.
In this case, Sara and her new hire didn't align on what success meant. While the new hire made efficiency and results the priority, Sara was looking for drive and passion. Also, she observed that the new hire wasn't fostering the relationships that are necessary as a director. Sara felt like she wasn't getting what she needed from the new hire, and the relational part of the job, which was crucial for success, was being neglected.
So here's the advice I gave to Sara:
Dig into culture fit with your interview questions. Sara needed a specific personality trait for someone to be successful.
Have the candidates interview with more people across the company. As it was, Sara was present at every interview step. Instead, she could help her new hire build a solid network by introducing them to the people that they'll need to build a relationship with.
Obviously this advice is specific to Sara and her particular needs, but I wanted to share this story because everyone hiring needs to keep in mind that
onboarding starts at the interview process,
not on their first day. The questions you ask and the coworkers you involve in the interview process set up your candidate for success once they become your new hire.
Examining your interview process is a great way to diagnose any problems you might be having with a newer hire. If expectations aren't agreed upon from the get go, everyone will suffer down the line. Define success, share it with your candidate, build the network from the very beginning, and get that perfect new hire.