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Define the job, your culture, use tools to check 'behavioral DNA'

[caption id="attachment_13448" align="alignleft" width="169" caption="Scott Ormerod"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_13449" align="alignleft" width="169" caption="Chuck McPherson"][/caption]

Whether your organization is downsizing, rightsizing, growing or maintaining the status quo, you are most likely scrutinizing job candidates and your existing team more closely than ever to ensure you have the right people fit for the success of the company.

Hiring is a buyer's market, and employers are inundated with highly qualified, experienced people finding themselves unemployed (perhaps for the first time) and in a very competitive marketplace.

Essentially, you have the opportunity to snag some outstanding talent. However, with such a plentiful market, you are also at a higher risk to select the wrong fit.

The key question is how to ensure you select the right fit amongst these excellent candidates? The answer: Make sure you are using the most effective and detailed search tactics and processes to properly measure each prospect. Finding diamonds in a haystack has led to a surge in pre-employment assessments.

Building the core "fit" tools

Your "fit" toolbox includes a number of individual tools that when combined help ensure the right selection. Start with a thorough, complete and up-to-date job description outlining all relevant duties and responsibilities as well as qualifications that are most important for the job. In posting the position, be sure the job description is prominent and referenced as a tool for applicants to match against.

During the initial interviews, ask candidates to address how their skills match the job description. This shows the level of research they conducted to prepare for the interview and demonstrates how their skill sets match with your job requirements.

Next, match candidates against the company culture. Stylize your interview questions using behavioral-based interview techniques to determine if the candidate holds key company values in their work practices.

Describe a scenario illustrating your company culture and have the candidate address the search team with a presentation on the scenario. Also, be sure your interview questions align with the job description, company culture and ongoing issues facing the company so you get the candidates perspective on how best to address these concerns. There are many ways to test for cultural fit, just make sure it is one of the first aspects of the search process.

In developing your approach to the search, be sure to include key players in your organization throughout the search process. You can ask them to serve as part of the search team, participate in the in-person candidate interviews or ask them to dine with the candidate. All of these diverse interactions help the company evaluate candidate fit and skills to handle the job. Formalize the input from team members by asking them to complete a candidate evaluation form.

This not only helps discover the candidate's company fit but sends a message to the team about the importance of their participation and opinions.

In the corporate recruiting functions, typically the same tools are used among companies with only the approaches varying: recruit using job postings or head hunters, telephone and in-person interviews, reference and background checks. A new tool being added to the mix is asking candidates to complete a behavioral DNA tool such as the Professional DynaMetric Programs ProScan, a powerful tool to measure personal strengths (behavioral DNA).

Using a behavioral measurement tool like the ProScan helps the company match candidates' behaviors versus the desired position behaviors. While only one of several evaluation points, the behavioral DNA provides an insight into knowing the true make up of the candidate leading to a better match.

Finally, the toolbox includes thorough reference and background checks.

Follow up the interview with reference questions that highlight concerns about if the fit will produce the desired results. When debriefing a candidate's interview and behavioral DNA, ask the search team to outline any lingering concerns that can be asked of the reference.

Background checks can also affirm the candidate's fit as you match the hard-to-deny facts with the reality of employment, residence, credit and criminal history.

Finding success with an amazing final candidate fit is the harmonic convergence of a well-executed search with the right candidate pool and selection tools. You may discover that the highly qualified candidate is the best investment for the future of your company because you did your due diligence to ensure the candidate fits the company and its culture. Search on.

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Chuck McPherson and Scott Ormerod are partners with Leap Solutions Group LLC, a business consulting firm headquartered in Santa Rosa serving clients throughout the United States. Leap Solutions assists clients including family-owned businesses with organizational development, human resources and management consultation services. They have successfully recruited new executives for the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Council on Aging and Catholic Charities. You may contact them to assist you in your search at 707-527-0969, leap@leapsolutions.com or www.leapsolutions.com.