When you hire, you don’t just look for that one candidate who will be the “Right Now” fit. You don’t want the minimum of a warm body at a desk; you’re looking for the right qualified, enthusiastic individual who is ready and excited to contribute to the team. But finding that right candidate goes beyond experience and what they have on their resume. At Rocket IT, when we recruit for new employees, we place a high priority on finding people who are good with other people, no matter what role we’re looking to fill.
Why is this so important to us and many other companies?
Many of you are probably familiar with the BBC show “The IT Crowd” and their iconic “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” catchphrase repeated throughout each episode and often said the minute one of their characters picked up a phone.
Even more of you may be familiar with the stereotype of the IT person who prefers to sit alone in a dark office and who huffs impatiently when you don’t immediately step out of their way to fix your computer.
That’s not how anyone should do things, especially not the person coming to you when you’re already frustrated. When your devices aren’t working, you can’t receive emails, or your network is down, the last thing you need or want is someone talking down to you. As evidenced by much of the backlash against companies recently, great customer service is enough to make or break a consumer decision.
You need someone who will make your clients feel like not only are their problems being heard, but that you care about fixing any issues and setting things right. Clients want to know that you are on their side first.
But great customer service isn’t the sole reason for hiring employees with soft skills.
In addition to how employees interact with clients, companies are starting to take a very close look at how employees interact with each other. Today’s workforce wants a company culture and environment in which they enjoy being. As an employer, if you want rock star candidates, you have to be sure the environment you and your team create is one that others will thrive in as well.
This is why we also screen for how well people interact with their teammates. There are some candidates who are friendly and engaging, but if they believe they know the best way, and aren’t open to listening to others on their team, then their “my way or the highway” attitude will make them nearly impossible to train and very difficult to work with.
So how do you screen for this beyond your interview questions?
Introduce your candidates to the office, if it’s possible. Take them around and let them shake hands with the team. Also include the key employees who will be working closely with whomever is hired in the hiring team, and listen to how they feel about the idea of working with that candidate.
The best candidates highly value their relationships with both clients and coworkers. Those who speak poorly at length about their current employer and team might be likely to do the same to your team. Pay attention to what they say about their past supervisors and colleagues.
Another great indicator is how they act when they think you aren’t looking. How do they interact with your receptionist? When they answer the phone, are they friendly? When you ask them how they’re doing, do they ask you how you are in return?
It can be these little things that make working with someone a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Try some of these tactics. You’d be pleasantly surprised at what a difference having people who are great with other people can make for your organization.
About the Author-
Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. While a large portion of her job focuses on the more traditional side of marketing, she is also responsible for finding great new employees. Jacque is originally from Indiana.
Have you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.