While the job of HR managers and recruiters is to make CEOs' lives easier by filling open positions with the best candidates possible, these employee screeners have many different ways of going about it. All kinds need to ensure candidates are a good fit from an educational standpoint, but they also want to make sure they hire someone they can see their colleagues working with 40 or more hours a week in at least a cordial way.
“When I meet and screen candidates in-person for the first time, I’m assessing for soft skills like communication, eye contact, facial expressions and personality most frequently,” said Eric Benjamin, senior director of technology contract staffing at HireStrategy, in an email exchange. “I also use this time to better understand the candidate’s hot buttons, or what they’re really looking for in a position. This could be money, a better work/life balance, a title change, the opportunity to work with newer technology or even a shorter commute.”
In addition to the interview, recruiters can get a sense of a candidate’s true personality and cultural fit by giving their social media accounts a once over, Benjamin said.
“For instance, a glance at a candidate’s Facebook or Instagram offers a glimpse into their everyday lives and is telling in whether or not you would enjoy spending time with them, while LinkedIn allows recruiters to look at a candidate’s experience and references all in one place,” he added.
One of the first skills hiring managers should look for beyond school-taught abilities is “grit,” said Somen Mondal, CEO of Ideal, via email. “This correlates with perseverance and stamina. Job candidates with grit demonstrate a laser-focus on their long-term goals and exercise self-control to develop a strong work ethic.”
Authenticity is another crucial skill, Mondal said. “You can identify who is authentic based on their past behaviors. They ask tough questions, are expressive, and have a clear sense of their values. Candidates who are authentic don’t strive to be liked; they strive to be true to their vision.”
Also, look for patience, Mondal said. “Go-getters are passionate and enthusiastic about achieving their goals, but they need to balance this with patience. A candidate with patience hits their deadlines, but also ensures they do a task correctly. When things go wrong, they don’t look for the exit; they readjust and focus on finding the right solution.”
Make the company a big part of the pitch, said Tasha Bell, human resources manager at Talbert House, in Forbes.
“Recruiting is selling,” Bell said. “Identify your target audience and understand your organization's selling points. What do we have to offer, and who would benefit from what we can offer?”
With these details, “You can place your company brand in the center of your target audience,” Bell added. “Advertise your organization's culture, and echo your talent's needs, skills and attitudes as it relates to your brand.”
Many hiring managers “evaluate emotional intelligence, adaptability to the corporate culture, ability to embrace the corporate mission, reliability and loyalty” when making their hiring decisions, said Jeffery M. Leving, president of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd., in an email.
“I have been making hiring decisions for decades and know that a bad hire can cripple a business,” Leving said. “The great majority of HR problems are the result of bad hires.”