by Lonnalee Anderson

Would you ever seriously consider proposing to someone after only a few hours of conversation? Or would you say yes to such a proposal? 

Recruiting the right candidate for your open position can feel a lot like speed dating. 

The ultimate goal is to find a person of high character and integrity, who has all the core competencies necessary for the position, is the type of person who will thrive in your culture, fits the management style, and who is also excited to put roots down to help the company grow. Easy, right?

The obstacles are obvious.

Like in speed dating, do you really know what you need?

Who hasn’t thought the creative musician is the most attractive prospect when really you need a practical numbers person? Have you done the hard work of introspection to really know your company structure, leadership, culture and strategy so you can be confident about who you’re looking for?

Like in speed dating, are you asking the right questions?

Did you really spend all your time talking about your pets? How do you ask questions that reveal the true heart-level motives of the person? Can you assess the character of a person during the time you get over a handful of interviews? 

Like in speed dating, is this person really who they say they are?

Are you being sold a lie? You’re risking significant time and financial investment to train this candidate and you want to be as sure as you can it will pay off in a long term mutually beneficial relationship.  

This is not an exhaustive list of obstacles, but it’s a good place to start. I’ve often described what I do at Core Ventures as making good “work marriages.” The interview process is very much set up like speed dating. You’re trying to learn all you can about a person in a short amount of time to understand if they will be a good long term fit for the position and company. 

Here are three strategies Core Ventures uses to improve the odds.

Culture Assessment: Do you really know what you need?

As part of the recruiting process, we offer a culture assessment designed to identify key culture markers, uncover potential landmines, and bring clarity to opportunities for growth. We try to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s internal workings in order to better understand your needs on the hiring front. Our company offers solutions and strategies to address any challenges or opportunities in the culture assessment, but we also use the culture assessment to inform our recruiting efforts. The more accurately we understand your culture and needs, the more accurately we can source high character and high competency candidates to continue to shape your culture in the direction of your goals. We interview our candidates “blind”— they never know the company they are interviewing for— in order to protect us from them padding their answers to match company values. 

Character Assessment: Are you asking the right questions?

At Core, we use two major ideas to define high character: emotional intelligence and humility. People are what they do. Many times our understanding of ourselves doesn’t reflect reality. Our Staffing Consultants are trained to suss out the emotional intelligence and humility of individuals across all industries. 

Competency Assessment: Is this person capable of doing what they say they can do?

With careful inspection of work history, competency, relevant experience, and basic IQ we set the competency bar high, striving to turn over the best the market has to offer to our clients. 

Add to these strategies our policy to never dress up a candidate. We have a strict “eyes-wide-open” policy for both our clients and our candidates. We will share all of the information we collect on a thoroughly vetted candidate with our clients, both perceived strengths and weaknesses. We also strive to be honest and open with the candidate about the culture, work environment, and leadership for the position they are interested in. When both parties go in “eyes-wide-open” there is the best possible chance for a successful, long term, harmonious work marriage. 

In order to support further opportunity for success, add to these three strategies and our “eyes-wide-open” policy the benefit that we are structured for companies to sign on as retaining clients. We most often function as an extension of our client’s team. We’re strategic partners, not guns for hire. Over the weeks and months, our desire is to build a relationship that makes Core an integral part of your team, armed with a clear understanding of who you are and what you’re looking for. 

Recruiting may be like speed dating, but with our strategies, policies, and structure, we’re stacking the deck in your favor.