Smart Hiring = Lasting Impact

In today’s talent market, smart hiring often goes out the window, and it can be tempting to hire the next applicant with a pulse. Regardless of a dwindling talent pool leaders still need a crystal-clear picture of their ideal candidate. This may seem obvious. But it isn’t always top of mind when leaders are stressed for time and struggling to get positions filled.

Many of us have made bad hires that end up costing us time, money, and even other valued staff members when we don’t get it right. Hiring for fit is critical to the future success of your team.

How to Hire for Fit

Here are a few tips to help you zero in on people who will be a good fit with your team.

  1. Ask your team what they look for in an ideal teammate. They will share a list of vital characteristics or qualities.
  2. Once characteristics and qualities are identified, get their help in crafting behavior-based interview questions that focus on those qualities.
  3. Consider what responses from candidates might be red flags and which responses would align best with the identified qualities.

Last week as I was talking with a group of leaders in my Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave class, one of the participants spoke up and said, “I have been hiring for over 30 years and never really examined my process before. Now I’m focusing more on characteristics and qualities that predict a better fit with my team.”

Asking Questions

Trusting your gut can be helpful in some situations but give your gut some support. Make sure you are clear about what you are looking for. Smart hiring is about asking questions that give reliable information. Probe a bit deeper to learn more.

There’s a saying, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” This adage applies to hiring as well. If you don’t know who, and what, you’re looking for, anyone will do.

Take time to identify the most important qualities. Next, ask the questions that will let you know if this candidate will be a good fit.

If you’re looking to level up your interviewing skills, our course Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave takes a deep dive on hiring as well as seven other leadership skill builders that will reduce turnover, increase the effectiveness of your teams, and increase employee engagement. Learn more about this 8-week, comprehensive course by calling (866) 686-7672 or emailing

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