Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tesh@shaw.ca

Managing Corporate Culture article series

As described in my earlier articles, one of the key characteristics of a great employee is a high degree of self-initiative.  A good test is to ask candidates:

  1. What they know about your company (e.g. vision, values, mission, products/services provided, the competition, how it differentiates itself etc.).
  2. Their familiarity with the job description, including goals and challenges
  3. Why they are suited for the position using examples of their personal accomplishments and challenges where they learned from mistakes that would apply to the position. They should be able to provide a reference to substantiate their story.
  4. How they researched their answers to 1 and 2 above (i.e. did it demonstrate initiative?).

The person with high self-initiative will have absorbed any information provided by the recruiting firm, read your website thoroughly, researched you and your company for any media articles, spoken with personal contacts who might know something about your organization and so on. Remember that the candidate has as much responsibility to understand your company as you do checking them out.

I discovered long ago that many people who remain with an employer for the long haul do so because they put considerable effort into researching their employer before choosing to be employed by that company.  You want to be confident that the candidates really know what will be expected of them including the challenges they will face. It only makes sense that the probability of achieving a good fit increases substantially if both you and the candidate have done your homework.

Take the time to ensure the candidates have properly undertaken their responsibility. This approach also allows you to determine if each candidate’s perception of the company is correct which is particularly important if he/she is a desirable candidate. If there are any inadvertent negative misconceptions you have a chance to correct them since you don’t want to lose a good candidate.

The next article will list some additional valuable tips on the interviewing process and provide information about key items often missed in a job description.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article, please email Terry Thompson at tesh@shaw.ca ©

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