Hiring C-level executives is not an easy task. We cannot stress the necessity to address the processes of candidates’ assessment in the most professional manner enough and thus increase the likelihood of success and ensure the permanence of highly qualified executives in your business.
Every effort made by your company to improve the processes of evaluation of its personnel has a high return on investment. Therefore, reconsider, optimize and improve your hiring procedures. In this article we will deal with a summary of the mistakes that occur most frequently in the process of interviewing candidates. The insights come from experiences interviewing candidates, relevant material on this subject and the input received in interviews by human resource managers.
① Vaguely defined profile
Companies want to avoid wasting precious business time by not considering making an in-depth analysis of the skills, attitude, characteristics, motivations, and specific abilities that a c-level executive should possess in order to be successful in the position they will be in charge. However, a detailed description of the profile allows your human resource department to select candidates in a more effective manner. Defining the technical requirements of the profile must be a proactive initiative. Ask those with whom these executives will work closely to understand the technical and cultural aspects that will be necessary in the candidates. The more clearly your company defines the profile, the easier it will be to objectively assess the candidates that are interviewed.
② Hiring in a hurry
Many issues can arise by hiring an inappropriate executive for the job. The hassle of interviewing candidates leads to accepting the first candidate that fulfills reasonably the requirements sought after. The candidates might perform well in the interviews, but they may not have the necessary skills to face the challenges that the new role will pose. Hiring in a hurry will make our company disregard important signs of warning. Hiring someone quickly frees up time in the short term, but tends to become a future problem.
③ Exaggerating requirements
Some companies think that it is better to define very high standards for a position. They demand academic requirements, experience, and languages, beyond what is truly necessary. There is nothing wrong with skillful and highly trained executives. But unrealistic expectations bypass potential candidates from the list who are perfectly qualified, only to hire those who are apparently better.
④ Lack of preparation for the interview
Interviewers tend to spend little time preparing for the interviews. Engaging an interview with little preparation poses a greater chance of finishing it without the necessary information to decide accurately and wisely. To get beneficial input from the interview it is necessary to determine in advance what you are looking for and to prepare strategic questions in advance, in order to avoid irrelevant conversations with the interviewee. The questions should be created to access crucial information and opinions on the issues that have been defined as critical for the success of the candidate in the position he is about to start. Generic questions lead to general impressions and rehearsed answers, and their results are not enough evidence to make a good decision. A record of the candidate’s specific answers must be kept. The meeting should not finish without the specific information that was required. A lot of mistakes in the hiring process happen by not obtaining that specific information and deciding based on different parameters which objectively do not lead to identifying the defined profile.
⑤ Not checking the references
Despite the fact that checking references carefully is known to be very important, you would be surprised of how rarely this is carried out and how superficially it is done, more than what is truly convenient for the hiring process. Obviously, companies need to reconfirm their findings and impressions of the final candidate with other executives who have worked with him. Additionally, it is advisable to speak not only with the people that the candidate offers as references by his own initiative, but also with others who have worked with him as well and that he did not mention spontaneously. With the prior consent of the candidate, try talking with his former employers, bosses, colleagues, and subordinates. Their input will allow the company to confirm or reject the information gathered in the interview and the questionable aspects arising from it. Consistency between the interviewer’s impressions and the information provided by the references is key.
To sum up, these are some of the common mistakes that are frequently made when interviewing c-level executives. Identifying these mistakes is a great strategy to implement actions in order to avoid them, and improve hiring process to ensure great chances of success in the executives that are selected.
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