Do you know who you’re hiring?

Or do you just think you do?

When interviewing job candidates, have you ever wondered who’s really behind the face staring back at you? How do you know that the enthusiastic conversationalist you’re considering for your financial advisor position can truly break new ground and make revenues soar? Should you take on that polite, but unusually docile candidate who’s so qualified for the teller position? The truth is that interviews usually tell only a part of a much longer story. Hiring or not hiring based on a “gut feeling” after an interview can be an expensive, regrettable mistake. The reality is that the traits applicants exhibit during an interview can be misleading and may cause you to make unfortunate hiring decisions, ones that lead to employee turnover.

For example, outgoing personalities enjoy being in the spotlight. Therefore, they know how to market themselves unabashedly and may leave you with a good impression after the interview. They often come across as commanding, competitive and driven, seemingly well suited to revenue generation. Sometimes, however, these individuals are all talk, no action. They have the social assertiveness to make contacts, but are simply not enterprising or aggressive enough to turn contacts into members.

Learn to read between the lines and step back to look at the bigger picture when selecting any new employee for any position at your credit union. Remember that service, administrative, and non-sales roles often appeal to reserved personalities. You might notice brief answers to your questions during the interview or get a sense that your applicant is nervous, fumbling and uncomfortable talking about himself or herself. While people like this might not light up a room or spark lively conversations, they may be excellent when it comes to working diligently behind the scenes, staying focused on tasks and solving member problems.

Finding a new employee who will mesh with your own unique management style, click in your environment, can be another major challenge; it often requires an in-depth assessment that extends beyond one or two interviews. It’s import to learn all you can about your applicant; dig deeply, verify information on resumes, ask a lot of questions and speak to any available references and/or former employers you can find.

Too many times an employee who seems perfect for the job cannot see eye to eye with the boss. Differences in communication style, work pace, and job expectations can be so dramatic that instead of balance and symmetry, there is tension and frustration within the branch. It’s unsettling and certainly dispiriting when a worker’s morning commute is spent wondering how to survive yet another eight hours in a stress-filled environment.

Learn all you can about your job candidate; explain your objectives, and discuss timetables before you make a commitment to hire! Avoid the expense and inconvenience of turnover by helping to ensure that the person who is not only right for the job, is also right for your specific workplace.

Another consideration is how well your new hire might blend with his or her teammates. Make sure you’re already familiar with the personalities of your existing employees and have good information regarding the likes and dislikes of your applicant to better judge overall compatibility. Keep in mind that outgoing types usually find reserved individuals too serious, while introspective people can be uncomfortable with and annoyed by loud, gregarious extroverts. Your job is to try to build a team comprised of both sales- and service-oriented individuals that is productive, efficient and cohesive – a tall task, especially if you have only a name and a face to go by!

Statistics show that when an employee leaves within 3 months of hire, you and your company will end up paying about what you would have paid that person in one year! Remaining employees must pick up the slack and often become disgruntled. Time taken to sort through stacks of resumes and applications could be better spent planning strategies and attending to other everyday business matters. Morale deteriorates and, sometimes, longstanding employees decide to start making new demands.

To avoid such expense and aggravation, take the time to know exactly which traits you are looking for in applicants before you hire them. Speak to references to substantiate a candidate’s claims and consider using a behavior-based assessment that is customized for your industry. Do everything you can to know who is really staring back at you during the interview!

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group.  She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses ... Web: Details