Six steps to ensure a candidate will be a great fit

Hiring a new person is always a big challenge for a company. You need to find someone who has the right set of skills, the right attitude and for the right price. While you can test their abilities during a job interview, it is very hard to know if that person will fit in your corporate culture.

Quite often, you can only hire one person for that position. If you hired someone that does not fit in your company, you are out of luck. You will have to start all over again or learn to live with it.

To help you hire people that will fit in your company, we made this little guide to help you all along the hiring and onboarding processes.

That said, please note that all companies deal with these processes differently. Some company will start with a phone interview first while others will directly want to meet face-to-face. Some have one or two interviews while others may have seven or more! We tried to give you a broad overview of what to look for, but if you would like a more in-depth help for your company, do not hesitate to contact us!

1. Before posting your job offers

Before asking yourself if a specific candidate would be a good fit, you need to define what does it mean to fit in your team.

Look at the people around you and try to picture what you all share — except for a job in the same company of course. We unconsciously hire people who resemble us.

Maybe you all love when everything is neat and tidy. You will certainly never put this in a job offer, but you should not hire someone who tends to be messy. Maybe you all go together for a beer or to play football on Friday night. If that is the case, you need to find someone who will be willing to spend time after work without their family. Some teams are also made of quiet people who do not want someone hyperactive who will disturb them all day long.

Look also for the team’s culture. In big enough companies, teams might have different cultures and habits. The marketing department might be full of hip people spending all their time on their iPhone while the IT team will be full of bearded geeks. If this is the case, do not hire an Apple fanatic for an IT job.

2. During the selection process

Résumés will not tell you much about people’s personalities. If you are lucky, people will list their hobbies in there, and that might give you a few clues, but that’s about it.

And about hobbies, people will often distort the truth to look more interesting. Some of them just look more interesting for an HR manager. Lots of people will list sports that they have not practised in years because it makes them look like they are active and dynamic people.

On the other hand, we have not seen many people listing video games as a hobby. People will often think that writing that will make them look lazy. However, it could be very interesting for a young IT company where people love to play online together after work.

During the selection process, make sure to get help from the team. If, in your company, this step is usually carried out by the HR department alone, be ready for some great deceptions along the way. First of all, HR is not always good at evaluating if people have the right skills, but they also do not know everything about the team’s internal working.

3. When contacting candidates for the first interview

The key here is to be upfront. You are looking for someone who will spend years at your company. Show them as soon as possible what it is like in your company.

Some might tell you that they do not feel this is the company for them. If this is the case: great! You just saved some time to look at the other candidates.

Tell them a bit about your company’s culture, about the general dress code. Say if you are fond of giving a professional aura — as is very common in the financial industry, or if coming in a business-casual attire is accepted. These people are interviewing at other companies, who all have a different culture than yours.

Inform them also about the interview process itself. Ideally, they should come relaxed in your office. Who will be there? What type of interview is it? Will there be a test? If someone is too nervous, you will not have the chance to properly judge their personality.

That does not mean that an interview should be easy: you want to find someone who will fit and contribute to your company.

4. During an interview

All in all, after all the interviews, you should have assessed the following things about a candidate:

  • First of all, what are their actual skills? After all, your company can not afford to pay people who will cost more than what they can bring back.
  • What is their personality and how does it match the company’s culture?
  • What does the team think of them? This is thankfully more and more common.
  • What do they think of the company and team? People might tell you great things because they want a job, but do not hesitate to go deeper. If that person says they would love working for you, ask why.

You can find answers to these questions using multiple methods, such as questionnaires, interviews with people from the team, etc. To make sure you get the proper answer, however, remind people of what they should be looking after. Not everyone is an HR manager, and even though hiring people might be part of their job, they might not enjoy it or give much thought about it.

Try to think also about good questions or test to evaluate if the candidate would be a great fit. If you like tidiness, make them organise little pieces of paper to see how they would do it. If you want adventurous people, ask them about their last holidays — where they went, what they did.

If this is the last interview and there are only a few candidates left, it is good to invite the whole team over. This allows them to ask their questions and also to create an occasion to see how they would all fit together in practice. If this is in your company culture, you could also all go for lunch or a drink to let the team and the candidate know each other better.

5. After an interview

Once you have conducted an interview, you should debrief with the other persons who were present.

The best is to do immediately after, as your mind is still fresh and you will quickly forget and the little details that could make a huge difference. This is especially true for soft skills and personality: you will easily remember if they performed well on a test, less so about how they behaved during the interview.

6. During onboarding

Once you made your choice and even though you have been cautious about selecting someone with the right mindset and values, this does not guarantee a great fit.

Everyone is different, and no one will be able to integrate perfectly in a company from day one. While you might value about 90% of the same things, there are always these 10% left that could ruin all the fun.

This is why it is important during the onboarding process to remind the new hire of what is expected of them. Company values and culture are not about pointing fingers at people who do not agree with them, but showing employees what they can expect and what is expected of them. This allows them to grow in an environment they understand.

After all, you can not blame people for not filling out the right paperwork if they have not been told that following processes is very important for you. On the other hand, telling them so help them understand that requests and tasks will always come through the proper channels.

We hope this guide will help you for your next hiring process and we wish you all the best to find the employee that will fit in your unique environment. If you have any question about one of the points mentioned above, send us a message!