How to Not Hire Losers

How to Not Hire Losers

People are the greatest thing in AV, not tech. We create experiences and help others communicate; the end game is to have people use our tools to connect. But when we consider who we choose to have on our team to create those experiences, how much thought are we putting into it?

The path of least resistance is hiring the first person who can fog a mirror and help out with the immediate need in your organization. However, not carefully vetting a candidate out of immediate need can end up being a nightmare in the long term. Here’s are four quick tips to ensure a #winning hire.

Take your time. Filling a full-time position because of a spike in work may provide short-term relief, but, if there’s a bad fit, the ache can be felt far into the future. Most candidates that aren’t looking for careers and culture are not willing to jump through hoops or spend a few weeks in an interview process. Simply making the process longer and stepped can scare off the wrong folks—and that’s a good thing.

Learn to ask questions. In an interview, the goal is to get the candidate to talk about her values, experiences, and dreams in an attempt to understand what she needs to succeed; you also have to ensure all of those things align with your culture and your people. While a simple “tell me about yourself” may work for some, most candidates need more mature questioning to interact at a higher level. Open ended questions are an obvious route, but try taking it a step further and creating a standardized list of questions so you use your time effectively. Asking questions that don’t have a high chance of providing valuable insights is a waste of time—planning ahead makes a world of a difference when it’s interview time and you’re nervous.

Don’t be held hostage. You already have good people, culture, and processes. During the hiring process, you may uncover red flags that cause you to question whether or not the candidate will be a good fit. The most important thing to remember is that you can walk away if the person isn’t the best option right now. You should not held hostage by his skills, intelligence, or availability. Using independent contractors, while more expensive now, is always an available option to get through a rough patch. Waiting for the right hire always pays off in the long-run.

Be transparent. A good candidate is interviewing you at the same time, so be up front about the nature of the job, compensation, expectations, and how success is defined for that particular position. This will attract candidates who are a natural fit for the opening, and will deter the wrong people form moving forward. Taking the time to write a detailed job description with prerequisite education and experience will help guide the interview and how you market the opening.

In the end, having a quality hiring process will provide a better group of employees who share core values and goals. Of course, this does not guarantee a lack of personnel issues and cancerous attitudes, but it sure makes a big difference. Ask yourself "Is this candidate someone I need to achieve my 10 year goals and not just the goal currently in front of my company?" Because culture is the secret sauce that makes what we do truly exceptional, and that worth protecting at all costs.

Luke Jordan, PMP, CTS-I
Luke Jordan helps people communicate their passions by crafting AV solutions that create exceptional experiences. He chairs AVIXA's Certification Committee and was featured in 2018's SCN The Nine.