Finding a candidate who will lead - Part 1

Arina Gerdyush
October 22, 2021

Finding a candidate who will lead

The first stages of the recruitment process are key for success down the line but the stakes are high; let the wrong candidates through and you’re wasting the hiring manager’s and your own time, turn down some hidden gems and you’re missing a world of opportunity. Intake interviews serve the purpose of preselection, validating whether behind an interesting CV there is an interesting candidate. This is usually done by phone, but frankly, the era of the phone call is over when the younger generation avoids them like the plague. It doesn’t help that they sap the time of the recruiter like nothing else so it’s a lose-lose. Digitising your process is the answer but they’re only as good as your approach. 

So how do you avoid a time-consuming conversation with an unqualified candidate that doesn’t tell you much more than the CV? In this series we will discuss different overlooked personality traits and how to qualify them with questions that lead to examples and honest self-reflection while not taking up more time than your run-of-the-mill standard set. Don’t wait to get to know your candidate and their potential until you get to meet them live,  get a solid idea of what makes them tick early on in your process by asking the unexpected questions that dig deeper. 

For the first undervalued and misunderstood quality that applies to all hires, here is leadership.

How to tell if your candidate is a life-long learner

As a recruiter, you might not be focusing on the leadership qualities from the get-go but snagging a candidate with the potential to lead can be a great long term investment. The problem is those attributes can be difficult to identify in the short period of time a recruiter has for interviewing candidates, and even more so if the communication is not live and you can’t follow-up the answers. When coming up with questions that yield insightful answers is the challenge, the way to go is to understand what you’re looking for and why.

But how do you know if the interviewee is a learner?

Adapting to change is necessary for any candidate in the current climate,  but even more so if they will need to show off their leadership chops. Learning is necessary to keep up with the changes in strategy, technology and the move towards hybrid work and it’s a two-way street. The best companies always offer a learning environment but it’s up to the candidate to make use of it and use the learnings to efficiently adapt to change. 

But how do you know if the interviewee is a learner? Here it’s important to ask open ended questions that show the thought-process. If the candidate gets caught up in routine, is not intellectually curious, and does not know how to benefit from change, they may not be able to get the most out of the experience or give back to the team after a while. Everyone says they’re adaptable but how do you find out if that really is their strong suit? Ask questions that let you understand if they look for opportunities and new skills in response to change. Everyone should have a trove of experience from the past year and a half and plenty of learnings. To qualify these experiences ask big open-ended questions that will prove they’re curious and motivated to learn from themselves and others, here are some examples to think about:

  • Can you talk about a time when you felt ill-equipped for an assignment and what steps you took to handle it? 
  • What new knowledge or skills have you tried recently? 
  • Imagine yourself in three years. What do you hope will be different about you then compared to now?

Try out your perfect question set with Audio Intakes and discover the right candidate without any form of live communication! 

Don't forget to check out our other blogpost in this series about "Finding a candidate who will lead":

Get started
straight away