Across the country, recruiters and hiring managers from all nooks and crannies of the workforce are sharing one undeniable truth: we are living in a competitive candidate market. Now, more than ever, it’s important for employers to be strategic and purposeful in their pursuit of new talent. Rather than just filling an open seat for the sake of having a warm body in the office, it’s imperative to bear the future in mind throughout the hiring process. You should be thinking about how the individual will contribute to the success of your company from day one to years down the road.
While there’s no foolproof way to keep employees from saying sayonara, by measuring a candidate’s long-term potential during the hiring process, you can effectively boost retention rates. Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report found that on average, turnover is costing employers $15,000 per employee, based on a median annual salary of $45,000.
With that hard-to-swallow number in mind, future-proofing your recruitment strategy and minimizing turnover will not only yield financial benefits, but it will also boost individual and company-level performance. So how exactly do you recruit for the future? Here are 3 traits to look for in a candidate during the interview process.
They’re a Forward-Thinking Brand Loyalist
Whether you recruit for Google or your business is still in its infancy, you want to hire employees that are personally invested in the success of your company. While loyalty is a two-way street and you will need to demonstrate an equal commitment to each employee, loyal workers are highly engaged, productive, and will help elevate your company’s retention rates. All employers face turbulent weather; from the need to downsize to overcoming customer-related setbacks. When you hire a candidate that is passionate about your brand, they are much more likely to endure rough patches, come out unscathed, and promote positivity when it’s needed the most.
During the interview process, you will be able to weed out candidates who exhibit the qualities of a brand loyalist. From the individual’s cover letter to the language they use in a face-to-face interview, their interest in your brand will be palpable. They’ve done their homework and can easily communicate their passion for your products, services, and clientele.
To be clear, there’s a difference between someone who gives a yawn-inducing recap of every word written on your ‘why work with us’ website page and a candidate who can articulate why their experience and values align with the company and can contribute to its future success. Abuzz with excitement, this candidate will paint a clear picture surrounding why they want to work for your company and can already visualize themselves in the role.
They Can Innovate
Most hiring managers and recruiters can expertly evaluate an applicants’ hard-skills. After all, there’s little room for interpretation when a candidate hands you a detailed rundown, via their resume, of how their work reduced costs, increased revenue, and effectively met their previous employer’s goals. The true challenge is mastering the art of measuring a candidate’s soft skills. Assessing soft skills can give you invaluable insight on how compatible a candidate is with your company culture, as well as whether or not that individual is poised to be a successful addition to your team.
What’s an important skill you should be chasing? A creative mindset; someone with the ability to exercise ingenuity and outside-the-box critical thinking when it comes to identifying and solving problems. For example, maybe you’re hiring a project manager to handle and oversee several IT-related initiatives for the company. Naturally, you’ll want to gauge their level of success surrounding their previous experience executing a system migration or software development project – Did they produce high-quality deliverables? Satisfy budgetary targets? Manage a cross-functional team?
But more importantly, you need to dig deeper. Ask for specific examples of roadblocks they’ve encountered over the course of their career. What steps did they take to overcome setbacks? How would they approach these challenges differently in the future? Strong problem-solving skills can turn a negative situation into a positive one and lead to new, innovative practices that drive your company’s success to new heights.
They Value Professional Development
We are living in an era where technology and the workplace are ever-evolving, and when it comes to the labor market, you want to attract candidates that are adaptable and continually striving to stay current with the latest practices, tools, and software in their field. Workers who proactively strive to expand their knowledge and develop new skills are shown to have higher productivity levels in the workplace. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends, a large chunk of information workers learned 10 years ago is now considered obsolete, and 50% of the knowledge that was relevant 5 years ago is now outdated. Over the next five years, advancements in technology will continue to transform certain skills needed to thrive in the business world. What does all this mean for your company? While you may be sitting across from a highly qualified candidate today, if they don’t exhibit a passion for pursuing new knowledge, they will wind up being the anchor that holds your company in the past. Adaptability is an incredibly valuable asset that you can’t afford to overlook.