Characteristics of the Best and Brightest

We’ve been talking recently about how Jane and Bob manage teams. They’ve been managing so well that now it’s time to hire more people. Jane and Bob need to think about how to hire to ensure the success of the company.

LOOK AT THE CURRENT EMPLOYEES

A big step in hiring successfully is to assess your current staff. Who are your rising stars who are already working for you? What common characteristics do they share? What makes them the best and the brightest? Find out the answers to these questions, and you have a starting point for interviewing.

LOOK AT WHO HAS LEFT

As you assess your current best and brightest, think about the people who have left. Did they share some of the same characteristics as your current staff?

WHAT ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION?

Have the needs of the company or organization changed over time? Are the characteristics of your rising stars the same as five or ten years ago?

Sometimes we continue to hire based on old data or an old model, and that model may no longer serve us. If Jane and Bob don’t identify if anything has changed, they may not hire what the organization needs right now.

GOT THE CHARACTERISTICS. NOW WHAT?

Once Jane and Bob identify those common characteristics of the best and brightest, they need a way to determine if those characteristics are present in the candidate during an interview.

Jane and Bob have found situational interviews reveal how a candidate would actually think or perform when faced with a specific scenario. They create some scenarios that are realistic for their organization and ask the candidate how he or she would manage it. Here is an example of a common situational interview that Jane and Bob conduct:

They ask the candidate something they know he or she won’t know or won’t know how to get the information. How does the candidate manage it? What Jane and Bob are trying to determine how the candidate handles not knowing the answer, how resourceful he is, what steps he takes in answering the question and finding the answer, and his follow-through skills.

Once the interview is over, Jane and Bob have a good idea of how the candidate will hold up in real life on the job.

YOU DON’T ALWAYS NEED A SUPERSTAR

Surprising, isn’t it? Not everyone has to be a star. Jane and Bob need all types of players on their team. Too many stars compete for the limelight or the few promotional opportunities that exist in the organization. Decide what positions need the brightest stars and which ones simply need good solid citizens.

Armed with the characteristics they need for the position, whether that’s for the superstar or solid citizen, Jane and Bob are off to an interview.