Finding a candidate who will lead - Part 6

Joris Knulst
July 31, 2020

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 test if your candidate is the right type of humble

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. 

It’s a red flag if someone never mentions their team.

A tricky balancing act that flies in the face of a lot of advice interviewees get is the test of their humility. And yet, especially when it comes to leadership, humility is the key to maintaining tight-knit teams that are empowered to work effectively. It’s a red flag if someone never mentions their team or their leadership when talking about their success (doubly so if they do mention them when discussing their failures), the chance that they really did single handedly pull themselves up by their bootstraps are pretty minimal. 

It’s easy to get dazzled by the high-performers or people who convincingly say they are, but to ensure meaningful teamwork it’s important to hire someone who values working with others for all the right reasons and is confident without believing themselves to be infallible. The questions to ask to test their humility deal with gaging whether they can recognise where others helped them succeed and give credit where credit is due. This can be pretty confronting, but that’s how you get to the real answers.  Some examples of questions to include are:

- Who do you owe your success to? 

- How do you navigate a situation where you disagree with your team/manager? Please provide an example. 

- What is an example of an important lesson you’ve learned from someone else and how have you implemented that in your career? 

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":

See it in action.