5 Keys to Hiring Great Talent Every Time – Part I

When you’re getting ready to select the right candidate for a position in your company, what’s your framework for selecting that talent?

If you’re like most of the HR Directors, C-Suite executives, business owners and hiring managers that we’ve worked with, chances are you don’t have a fully developed or written out framework for making that selection—which is one of the reasons why most businesses struggle with hiring and retaining great talent.

But what if a simple framework exists that you could use every time with every candidate that would increase the probability that you could be hiring an A-player/highly talented/perfect fit candidate for the position you were recruiting for. If that were possible, would you want to know what that framework is?

Well, the good news is you don’t have to wait any longer. The framework we like to use here at Fulcrum Staffing with all of our clients is one known as the “Five C’s”.

These five C’s are all critical and sequential, meaning that if a candidate doesn’t pass one of the previous C’s, they’re disqualified. In other words, you should never select a candidate who meets three of the five C’s. This is an all or nothing framework.

In addition, they’re also organized in order of importance; which means that the first C is more important than the fifth.

So, what are the five C’s? They are: character, competency, culture, chemistry and congruence.

Since the first of the five C’s is character, let’s start there.

The reason you should always start with character is because it’s the hardest of the five C’s to change. In general, people are who they are. And when stress or tension arises, virtually everyone reverts to their natural character.

For example, someone who always tells the truth, will always tell the truth even if it might cost them their job. On the other hand, someone for whom the truth is more malleable, will almost always tell you whatever “truth” they believe will benefit them the most (and would never risk their job).

Or, someone who always does whatever it takes to get the job done will stay until the job is done.  While, on the other hand, someone who’s a clock watcher will consistently leave unfinished work on their desk because, well, they’re clock watchers (that’s who they are).

People are who people are.

It’s far easier to change someone’s skill set than it is their character. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible for someone to change their character. It simply means that it’s rare for that to occur—especially when someone is under stress or pressure.

With that in mind, here are a few tips related to character we’ve learned over the years, that can help you select better talent every time.

  1. Never ever compromise on character. If your gut is causing you to question whether someone has the right character or not, never go against your gut. The number of people who’ve avoided this rule and have been burned by it is huge. You don’t want to be one of them. Note: this principle is essential—even if they’re a great producer.

  2. Ask character-based questions in the interview process. What do you think are your best character qualities? Can you give me an example of each of those? When work tends to get stressful, how do you respond? Can you give me an example of when you responded well and one when you didn’t? Etc.

  3. Ask character-based questions of references. Similar to point two above, ask references to describe the character of the person they’re a reference for—as well as to share stories about that character issue.

Why? Because nothing matters more than character.

You can always train someone to acquire a new skill. But trying to change someone’s character is incredibly difficult. In light of that, make sure this first “C”, that of character, is the first (and most important) pillar in your hiring selection process. If you do this consistently, you’ll never regret it—and you’ll end up with better talent on your team, every time.

P.S. Stay tuned for the second C, coming soon!