Best Practices to Improve Your Recruiting
How smaller companies can improve hiring

Too often business leaders in smaller companies assume these global giants have unique practices and/or massive resources to throw at hiring and that’s why they are able to hire top innovators. In truth, it’s not about trade secrets or deep pockets. Hiring highly innovative people boils down to focus and process. This post will provide tech leaders with some of the tips they can use to identify and hire creative and innovative people:

1)   Begin by forming a highly divergent selection team. We’ve all seen it, success breeds complacency. In R&D, falling into the trap of ‘group think’ is often the beginning of the end. Instead, form a selection team that is divergent. Make sure each team member comes to the table with differing perceptions, specialties, and interests. In this way, the hiring team will be able to make better observations and analyze the pros and cons of each hiring decision.

2)   Establish profiles for innovators. There is an old saying, ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there’ and this is a truism when hiring innovators. To find these highly creative people, define their unique characteristics and make sure your team understands how to probe for them. Creative and innovative people will often possess these characteristics: playful and imaginative, have expertise in multiple and divergent areas, are never satisfied with the status quo, and continually search for ways to make improvements.

3)   Teach your divergent interview team how to interview. To identify highly creative and innovative people, you need to create the right atmosphere. The old-fashioned interview methods of putting people under a magnifying glass and asking them questions that always begin with the phrase, ‘tell me about a time when you had to…’ are a real turnoff. Instead teach your interviewers how to maintain a very positive atmosphere, one that exemplifies collegial respect and curiosity.

4)   Finally make sure everyone, both interviewers and applicants, enjoys the process. When done correctly, your interview team will view the experience as broadening their skills and abilities. You also want the applicant to leave the interview speaking well of your company and telling all of their classmates and colleagues they should consider working with your firm.

In summary

We hope the information in this post has been helpful. These practices are not difficult nor do they require large budgets. Any tech company can incorporate similar methods to improve their hiring, it only takes a little focus and discipline. In addition, remember the old-fashioned ‘behavioural interviewing’ methods have reached their end-of-life. Interviewing is a two-way street and it’s important to remember that highly innovative people will assess your company and its staff before deciding to join. 

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