I recently read a social media post where a woman raved about the cool job interview she’d just been on.
She loved everyone’s hospitality, the tattooed interviewer, and the overall casual vibe. It put her at ease and allowed her to feel like they respected her as an entire human being instead of just another cog in the machine.
I thought this tactic was excellent, but several comments suggested that it wasn’t professional or sufficient enough to really gauge a candidate’s ability to do the job. Sure, that is probably true under many circumstances; for instance, I’d want to know that my surgeon has a clear understanding of how to complete a heart transplant if I’m having that procedure. And I love a great personality, but if I’ve hired you to fix my plumbing then I’m expecting more than riveting conversation.
Evidently, your hiring process is dependent on your industry and company culture, but there are many ways to evaluate candidates. The critical piece is that it’s meaningful to you and your unique organization. Therefore, it’s crucial to select candidates with the values needed to support your company’s mission. That’s why it’s essential to translate your vision into traits you want to look for when trying to fill your next open position.
Here at Geneca we look for 3 core qualities in potential employees that we know are necessary for their success in our organization. Each of these characteristics relate to our unique vision and values.
1) Strong communication skills to delight clients and exceed expectations
This criterion is popular among many organizations when it comes to selecting job candidates. In fact, it’s used so often that it’s lost some of its value and meaning. Strong communication skills are expected, but employers don’t always know what really constitutes strength here. Understanding specifically what you want employees to use those skills for is what counts.
For example, we need our employees to be able to talk to a variety of audiences. They must be able to work well in teams – not just get along, but know when to lead and when to let others step up. They must also be knowledgeable, professional, and comfortable in conversation when meeting with business clients. This allows us to articulate expectations and rationale for our hiring decisions. With the right employees, we can ensure successful communication between our technical team and clients, delighting them along the path to a product that exceeds their vision of the ideal.
2) Technical prowess to push the boundaries of what is possible
Of course, it’s necessary to have the knowledge and skills required to perform the duties of your role. An expert in the field is an asset to any team. However, don’t stop there. Prowess is not only defined as expertise but as bravery. Once you consider the idea that this characteristic is more than just a candidate’s knowledge, but is central to their method of learning, you can see how it impacts the big picture.
At Geneca, we want employees with technical prowess not only because they will be able to perform the job well, but because they have what it takes to continue to perform in the future. In order to achieve great things in tech, we must be aware and on top of the ‘next big thing’. A candidate with an extensive technical background indicates true passion, the willingness to keep learning, the drive to stay current, and the ambition it takes to continue to outdo themselves.
3) Tenacity to create something extraordinary from something ordinary
Merriam-Webster defines tenacity as “persistence in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired”. This is a core characteristic when it comes to the ability to overcome obstacles and bounce back. How can we possibly measure this? Try focusing on a candidate’s unusual knowledge or experiences. You can’t just rely on a resume to provide evidence of this – take the time and initiative to have a real, unscripted conversation. Have they stuck with something frustrating? Have they failed before? Can you identify the sacrifices have they made to achieve a goal that was important to them? How do they handle a tough question or uncommon challenge?
We look at all these things to determine whether a potential employee is tenacious. This is incredibly important to Geneca’s mission because we fail often in the tech industry. Creating something from nothing means that we often take a wrong turn many times before we find the right path. Our employees need to be willing and able to push through and come back stronger. We firmly believe in honoring our commitments and value an employee that will stick to them no matter what to reap the rewards.
Do you relate to the characteristics listed above? Maybe, or maybe not. What is important is that you consider your own organization’s ultimate goals and how a job candidate’s traits can help you achieve them. It’s really those core values, not years of experience or a specific skill-set, that ensure an employee will contribute to your company’s success.