Yes, I want a skilled employee. Yes, I want them productive. But what we are really looking for is an employee with a balance of desired character traits.
While working with my husband’s business, I have had the opportunity to hone our hiring process. It can be challenging to work with limited information when trying to make the most informed decision among numerous candidates.
Let’s face it…many of the tools we use can give us tunnel vision about a candidate. A resume, a reference, an interview…all can be created, edited, and filtered to bring out the best and potentially hide the challenges.
The first step was to create a list of what we desired.
Below are the character traits we look for:
- Taking initiative – one who does not need to be micro-managed to keep productive
- Constant learner – one who seeks to continually improve and is curious
- Good teammate – one who upholds the well-being of teammates and clients at the forefront
- Hard worker – one who is consistent in desired behaviors and skills and has a fiduciary mindset
Each of these are easy to understand, but when taking a step back and studying them we discovered something interesting. The list highlighted a natural strength of each of the 4 elements of the Personality Element Profile.
Looking at the list again highlighting an ideal character trait that is a natural strength from each element.
The aha moment to this is that while we desire to highlight the strengths of each individual we also expect them to THINK like a Fusion (one who balances the strengths of all the elements). This requires awareness and practice…and energy.
So how can an employer uncover whether a candidate can manifest the character strengths beyond their natural comfort zone?
We insert open-ended questions into the interview process to uncover the presence or absence of the desired character traits.
Below are some examples of exploring questions related to each character trait:
- Taking initiative – Have you ever noticed something that could be improved at your work situations? If so, did you do anything about it?
- Constant learner – How did you learn how to complete the required tasks of one of your jobs? How did you learn more beyond your initial training?
- Good teammate – No matter where we work there are “oops” moments when things are not smooth. Describe a time when this happened and what your response was to it.
- Hard worker – In what way would an employer feel they can trust you to have their best interest at the forefront?
And then…LISTEN. Listen actively to cues and clues to not only the presence of the character traits but also the body language and energy around such questions.
Change the interview process from niceties to actually uncovering the truth!
Get your FREE Model Employee Characteristic and Template by clicking the image or here.
QUESTION: How are you looking beyond the skills of the job and to desired characteristics?