Hiring: Finding the Cause Before the Symptom – Part 1

Hiring is an art and finding the right person for the job isn’t as simple as it seems. Every business owner has hired someone that either didn’t fit in at the company or didn’t put in as much effort as everyone else did, which unfortunately often leads to that person having to be released.

With the option of hiring a specialist who can help you spruce up your resume, it’s not difficult to impress a potential employer. Candidates are also on their best behavior during interviews so what can you do to weed out the tares from the wheat?

This will be part 1 of my article series and I will be addressing a variety of topics on the art of hiring the right employee.

Before you begin

There are a number of things that you can do before and during the interview process to help you determine whether the interviewee is up to your challenge. Thankfully, questioning isn’t your only tool.

Think of your interview process as a doctor/patient conversation. A patient comes in with a problem and it’s your responsibility to look at the symptoms in order to come up with a diagnosis. Your knowledge of people and properly planning out your questions will help you successfully diagnose you patient, and in this case, determine whether someone is the right person for the job.

Tips for preparing for your interview

Below are just some of the ways that you can prepare for your next set of interviews.

Check their Facebook account

You can tell a lot about a person with or without pictures. Is their Facebook profile filled with selfies? This could be a sign of poor judgement.

“The thrill of narcissism, uncensored by reflection or judgement, all too often leads to impulsive self-promotion.” – Dr Terri Apter (Psychology Lecturer at Cambridge University)

Consider the position you are hiring for. If it’s for a sales position, a bold narcissist may not be a bad idea but overconfidence can often lead to poor decision making. This is just one example of using Facebook to profile a potential candidate but I think you get the idea.

Understand their generation

Every generation is different as they each come from different family lifestyles. There are Traditionalists (born 1945 and before), Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964), Generation X (born 1965 to 1976), Millennials (born 1977 to 1995) and Centennials (born 1996 and later). Every 20 years a new generation emerges to rebel against the thinking of the previous generation. In the interview process, you will need to determine what generation your interviewee fits into without asking their age.

Traditionalists – Born 1945 and Before

Traditionalists come from a strong background of family values formed in a pre and post war world, and if you have the opportunity to hire one you will be met with a wealth of knowledge and support, especially wisdom. The mid-19th century spawned the modern age and created a culture of consumerism that exploded in America and metamorphosed worldwide.

Advertising was benign and not considered a hindrance, and education (University level) was seldom used yet widely pushed. Back then, education consisted of philosophy, economics, history, and offered critical thinking. If a Traditionalist has a degree, they earned it through rigorous study. They tend to commit to one company for many years as they were taught by their peers to work hard and honor their superiors.

Wisdom, knowledge, structure and history is what you should expect from traditionalists.

Baby Boomers – Born 1946 to 1964

Baby Boomers stemmed from a rebellion at the traditionalists. Traditionalists often came from homes that were broken due to World War II. Mothers raised their children while the fathers were at war. When the fathers did return, they were disconnected from their families and often suffered from PTSD due to their exposure to the hellish scenery that the war offered. Substance abuse rose dramatically and family values were questioned or often put aside in order to deal with illness. Fathers were strict and often abused their roles because of their time in war zones.

Although America was the largest superpower and the economy was booming, the American family suffered greatly. Psychological help wasn’t available in every city and psychiatrists couldn’t prescribe medication in bulk because the need was far greater than the supply. Baby Boomers offer a new way of looking at things. They were the ones who coined the phrase “think outside the box”. Even though they suffered greatly due to a lack of parental interaction, they did invent the semi-conductor, which paved the way for technology today.

Baby boomers are extremely smart and resourceful.

Generation X – Born 1965 to 1976

Generation X is often perceived to be disaffected and without direction yet those statements are far from the truth. Baby boomers were softer on their children because they rebelled against strict values. Consumerism was also at an all-time high, which means Generation X was spoilt with new technology.

It was during this period that the first home arcade game was introduced and this allowed children to indulge in make believe. This era also gave birth to the home computer. Generation X was not in a rush to grow up and stayed close to their fantasies and dreams. They created a lot of the gadgets that the world knows and loves today such as the iPod.

Generation Xers are seasoned mentors in the technology world and offer a wealth of knowledge in technology, sales and marketing.

Millennials – Born 1977 to 1995

Millennials make up the largest part of today’s job market so depending on the type of experience and traits you’re looking for, you will more than likely interview a Millennial.

This generation was born in a time when the internet and the world of technology were growing at a rapid pace so they are naturally very tech-savvy. Millennials have to date received the most marketing attention and are a lot more tolerant of change and diversity than older generations. These individuals generally tend to be a lot more confident and often have a much more optimistic view of the world. Even though the majority of this generation had access to a tertiary education, they hardly ever land up in jobs that are directly suited to the qualifications they achieved.

Millennials are fast learners, technology orientated and confident in their abilities, and achieving a work-life balance is very important to them.

Centennials – Born 1996 and Later

This young generation is still in school or is currently furthering their education through a college or university. Some of them might even already be working a part-time job in order to get on their feet.

This is probably the most open and resilient generation. They are very realistic about life and understand what’s expected of them. They strongly believe in promoting the acceptance of different beliefs and values, and are serious about creating a safe, productive society that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Believe it or not, Centennials are a lot more serious than their Millennial counterparts and are all about the basics. They don’t feel the need to make serious statements by dressing differently but instead prefer to embrace a classic wardrobe that speaks to past generations.

Centennials do come with a slightly shorter attention span but this is not necessarily a con as it gives them the ability to make quicker decisions.

In conclusion

Now that you have a better idea of the type of candidate you’re dealing with you can start formulating an array of relevant questions to help you decide whether their skills are suited to the position.

Stay tuned for part 2…

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