One of the most nerve-wracking, milestone moments for any small business owner has to be when they make the move from solo entrepreneur to the employer. I recently wrote about how one of the hardest lessons I learnt in business is hiring and outsourcing without recommendations. It’s not easy, and sometimes you need to cast your net far and wide to find the right person for the job.
Bringing other people on board is a time of mixed emotions – immense pride that you’ve built your business to the point where it needs and can sustain others, mixed with doubt over giving up sole control of everything and worry about finding the right person for the job. If you’ve never dealt with recruitment before this can be especially daunting. You know the basics you need to ask – their experience, qualifications, and why they want the job – but how do you assess their true qualities and get an idea of what they’ll really be like to work alongside?
It’s so important in a small business, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with that person. Someone can walk in their best suit, kitted out from tiesrus but that doesn’t mean they will be the best fit for the job and your company. These creative interview questions will get you started.
Ask What They Would Do Differently
Although giving up the sole influence on the direction and operations of your company is daunting, it’s also a chance to gain a valuable perspective outside of your own. See the interviews as a chance to find an original mind to challenge and complement your own thinking. This question determines if a candidate has a proper interest in your sector and company and if they’ve done their research. Don’t be intimidated to ask for their vision – a detailed response can help you identify a future leader who could grow with the company, and those are the types of people you need on board.
Check Their Metrics
Our businesses are run on data, and analytics have a lot to teach us when it comes to insight into human behavior as well. Using behavioral metrics can be an important part of a successful interview process. Take them in balance with other factors that demonstrate the attitude the candidate has, and alongside previous examples of quality work they can point to.
Evaluate Their Critical Thinking
Some people can perform well in tests, but not have as much capacity for independent thought, so look for a list of questions to evaluate critical thinking as well. Some of them can be quite left-field! The whole point is that there is no one correct answer – candidates are being given a chance to showcase their logical and creative thinking, as well as how persuasive and eloquent they can be – all factors well worth measuring, especially if the role is strategic.
In a job interview, it shouldn’t only be the candidates for the vacancy who are thinking ‘outside the box’ – employers too can do a lot more to find the right match by combining some new techniques to give themselves a multi-dimensional view of the person they hope to employ. Combining the classic STAR interview technique with a few analytics and some critical thinking curveballs will give a more rounded picture – and for small businesses, those first few hires can make or break the success of the company.