With unemployment at a 17-year low, competition for top talent is fierce across the United States. The most desired candidates on the market have multiple job opportunities to choose from, so you have to be both creative and perceptive when seeking out high performers in interviews.

Look for Leadership Potential

Find candidates you can develop and groom for succession. Single out individuals with the capacity to adapt to new challenges and grow into new roles – in other words, evolve along with your organization.

Here are some key signs of leadership potential:

  • Social awareness: It’s important to determine the social acumen and emotional intelligence of a candidate. Top performers are confident without being arrogant, and comfortable in their own skin without being overly casual. They are good conversationalists and listeners.
  • Flexibility: A key attribute of leadership is the ability to change direction and stretch when pulled. A good way to assess agility and responsiveness is to give a candidate an assignment to complete with a quick but realistic turnaround time.
  • Transparency: Does a candidate demonstrate honesty, humility and acceptance of personal responsibility? During an interview, if anything comes up that calls a person’s integrity into question, view it as an immediate red flag.

Ask the Right Questions

Certain questions can help you determine how motivated a candidate is and how well they would fit your company culture. Make sure your questions are behavioral in nature: Ask for specific examples of performance success in their past, and keep probing until you’re satisfied with their response.

Here are some sample questions:

  • Can you describe an instance where you were able to maintain your passion for a project over a long period of time? This question will help you pinpoint individuals with perseverance, who will maintain their high standards until all objectives are met.
  • If you were struggling with an assignment, would you push through it on your own or ask for assistance? Although you want to hire independent employees, you don’t want to recruit people who are too proud to ask for help when they need it. This shows character – and furthermore, a reluctance to seek assistance can lead to a serious waste of time.
  • What skills are you hoping to improve over the next five years? If a candidate has a detailed plan for improvement in place, this is a good indicator they are self-aware and proactive about their growth.
  • How do you prioritize your tasks? Asking this question will help you understand how a candidate’s mind works and how they deal with multitasking. The details don’t matter as much as the fact they are diligent and put thought into effectively organizing their work.

The PrideStaff Modesto team can help you identify and address your unique hiring needs. We specialize in talent solutions in administration, customer service, IT, finance, legal support, healthcare, and production and distribution. Contact us today so we can discuss options that fit your organization in 2019 and beyond.

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