#13 – Proper Screening Of Candidates – First Carefully Describe What You Are Seeking

Select Top Performers

Misery loves miserable company so make sure you are selecting “upside” thinkers.

In our last entry (The Most Critical Responsibility of a CEO and Any Manager), we listed the 3 key activities that need to be undertaken to properly screen a candidate for a position in your organization.  Before discussing each of these activities you must be sure that that you have completed a description of the position that you are seeking to fill and a profile of the person that would be the ideal fit for the position.  This involves the following:

  1. Solicit input from key stakeholders on the activities required for success in the role
  2. Prepare a job description for the position that reflects the aforementioned
  3. List the key objectives that are targeted for this position now and in the future to coordinate with your 3 year plan
  4. List the key obstacles that this position faces regarding achieving these objectives
  5. Prepare a profile of the person that best suits the above including:
    1. Education, training, skill set, experience, and job stability
    2. Degree of self-motivation (i.e. self-initiative), required amount of self-management ability and problem solving skills
    3. Additional qualities and attributes required to succeed in the role and that would fit with the corporate culture
    4. Desired level of emotional intelligence

A few comments regarding the above:

  1. It is not a CEO’s or manager’s responsibility to motivate their subordinates. Motivation, ultimately is an inside job.   It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to hire self-motivated people and then facilitate/support their ability to achieve their objectives including personal development.
  2. A key feature regarding fit with desired corporate culture is the ability to be part of a team.  This does not mean that the candidate cannot be independent in their thinking nor does this mean that they should compromise their leadership skills.  It just means that they should have a track record of supporting and being a positive contributor to an organization’s overall growth and goals (including their corporate culture goals).  Be wary of those people who have great skills and can perform well at their specific function but have a negative personality (i.e. they are never happy).  Misery loves miserable company so make sure you are selecting “upside” thinkers.
  3. Key features of emotional intelligence are:
    1. Is the person coachable? By coachable I mean that they welcome constructive criticism and guidance in order to develop themselves and then actually use this guidance to improve.  You don’t have to “walk on eggshells” when discussing areas that need correcting or improving. Instead you are totally comfortable in broaching these items with them.
    2. Is the person able to handle change and take it in stride?
    3. For managers particularly, is the person even-keeled emotionally or prone to mood swings?  A study completed in the United States found that people who worked for emotionally intelligent managers were 30% more productive than those who did not.
    4. Do they have a passion for great customer service (internal and external)?


The above items should be discussed with the recruiting people you are using so that the short list of candidates that they provide to you are worth the time you will take to complete the screening processes that will be described in future articles.


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