“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” – Simon Sinek, Author and Speaker

We have all heard the expression ‘your people are your business’ and we all know it is true. We have worked with energy suckers and we have worked with inspirational people.

In its seven years of business, Farrell Associates have only ever had to pay one fee back to a client, because the candidate left early.

In our experience, the candidates we place tend to stay in their roles for the longer term whilst flourishing; we are obsessed with this best-fit mentality in every sense where up-front we screen on personality, culture, and key behaviour drivers as much as on core skills.

Our secret is this:

Although they may not know it, people look for three things when looking for a new job:

Corporate Culture, Day To Day Duties They Enjoy, And The Right Career Path.

Here are the three key questions to ask, if you want to screen out those bad hires:

1. What does your ideal company look like?

It is essential that you establish if the company’s values match those of the candidate. Often values are vague and opaque, but sometimes they are clear. If you can find out what values a person holds, it becomes easy to match them to a company. Try asking the candidate if they want a big or small company, if they want corporate title recognition or L&D opportunities, if they value commission over a discretionary bonus and then develop it from there. The more you probe with questions and gather information the better you can match the candidate to your culture.

“Real company values are the behaviours and skills that we value in fellow employees.” – Reed Hastings, Founder Netflix 

2. What is your ideal job?

If they could invent their dream job what would it look like? What would they do day to day? This is the most important thing to ensure someone will enjoy coming to work every day. If they like problem solving, put them into an investigations role. If they like objectives, goals and targets; put them in sales. Get this wrong and you will have miserable employees… this is rife in every company I have examined.

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

It is crucial that you know the candidate’s career plan. How impatient are they to progress? Where do they want to go next? Do they want a clear ladder or a non-hierarchical structure? Getting this right limits drop out at the end of years one and two.

In practice, you need to screen these things during your first contact with the potential employee. Ask them the three open ended questions and don’t stop gathering information until you feel you could answer these questions on the person’s behalf. Don’t be tempted to coach them through the process, actively screen people out. This is a game changer!

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Neil Farrell, Managing Director

Read Neil’s other blog posts herehere, and here.