In all my years placing high-tech talent, I’ve found pairing the right candidate with the right job is a lot like dating. There are certain qualities you look for in a partner and when it’s a good match – you know it! Here are a couple of ways to tell if you’ve got a keeper:
The First Impression
When meeting a candidate if you’re immediately put off by his scraggly beard, chances are your clients will too. As superficial as it sounds, physical appearances matter. Bottom line is, you know the level of professionalism expected to get the job done. And if the person walking through the door is anything less, there’s no reason to move forward.
On the flipside, it’s a turnoff to candidates if they’re not shown the professional courtesy they expect. A bad impression could send a potentially good candidate running for the door or worse yet, garner your company a bad reputation among peers.
Sure, it’s an interview. There are going to be questions that need answering. The tricky part is making the exchange interesting. The conversation needs to flow, not seem forced or have awkward silences. Find something in common – could be your alma mater, hometown, hobbies – and build on that. An engaging dialogue is a two-way street. Your attitude will either set the stage for a great conversation or an awful interrogation. If time seems to fly during the interview, chances are, it’s a good sign.
Travel, telecommuting, work/life balance – these are just some of the things to consider when finding a good fit. Is the company all buttoned up but you’re more comfortable working in jeans? Are weekends out of the question? As an employer, be upfront about what the corporate culture is like. As a candidate, be honest with yourself and the interviewer. If you want to come home for dinner every night but the job calls for extensive travel, it’s probably not for you.
Are you looking for a committed relationship or a temporary solution? Make sure your short and long-term goals are aligned. Is your ideal candidate one who can grow with the company? Are you looking to advance your career? Do you need someone for one project for only a brief period of time? These are questions you should ask yourself and your counterpart to ensure both parties are happy with the end result.
Happy Valentine’s Day!