How do you work out what kind of person you need to hire?

    In this blog post, we're going to show you how to avoid hiring mistakes by aligning on who you need in the first place.

    This little mistake is the most common reason that a hire doesn't work out and so if you want to increase the success rate of your hires, then read on!


    Who gets to decide on the person getting hired?

    This may be an obvious statement but the hiring manager (the person who will end up managing this new hire) is the person who needs to have the final decision on the kind of person they need to hire.

    HR teams should support the hiring manager with the operational aspects but when it comes to the fundamental question of 'what am I trying to solve for', this must be owned by the hiring manager.

    Trust is really important.

    If you don't trust a hiring manager with this process, you probably need to ask yourself a more fundamental question about this lack of trust. 

    If this lack of trust is due to the fact that you don't believe the hiring manager can make a correct hire (even with HR's support), then you may be facing the need to make two hires.

    If the lack of trust is irrational, then it's worth exploring the reasons behind this feeling because trust is implicitly required to have a high-performing team.


    What's the new hire's mission?

    Your company follows a few strategic goals in order to achieve its vision.

    In the same way, a new role should have a mission which is an executive summary of this person's core purpose.

    It should capture why the role exists using clear, quantifiable language.

    Head of Product

    To double the size of the product team and retain its high-performance as measured by internal churn, employee NPS and an improved product NPS score.

    This high-level statement should be met with agreement across all stakeholders. If we agree on the premise, then it's more likely that we agree as we get specific.


    What are the outcomes that you expect from the new role?

    Imagine you're sitting with a colleague a year after you've made the hire. You turn to this colleague and say "You know what Joe, Daniella was the perfect hire because....."

    How would you finish that sentence?

    You should be hiring the person that's most likely to make that sentence come true.

    Job Descriptions focus on the inputs to the role and the values, experience required to make that role successful but 'a go-getter attitude' doesn't directly lead to success. It's the outcome that you expect the 'go-getter' to achieve.

    Each role should have between three and six core outcomes before they can be considered fully thought out.

    This will be easier for some roles than it will be for others. For example the outcome of a successful sales person is explicit. If they beat their quota, they can be considered successful.

    However a lot of roles are not as easily quantifiable (eg compliance associate).

    We'll borrow from The OKR model and give you two ways to think about outcomes

    Input-based outcomes: A metric that you can directly influence (eg. hire over 30 people)

    Output-based outcomes: A metric which is indirectly related to your inputs (eg obtain a 4* performance review after 6 months)



    What values and competencies should the candidate have?

    The final part of the profile is the values and competencies that you expect from this candidate.

    Some of these should be company-wide and some should be specific to each job. 

    At the Berg Group we look for four key competencies for all positions:

    • Internal locus of control - These are people who believe that they (not someone else) are responsible for everything that happens to them.  They are more likely to take personal responsibility, be proactive, and believe in their ability to positively impact their work and achieve desired outcomes. Learn more about this important value here


    • Humble -  Being humble means the candidate has a modest opinion of themselves. They recognise and appreciate the strengths and contributions of others, and are willing to put the team's interests before their own ego. Humble team players exhibit selflessness, actively listen to others, admit mistakes, and prioritize collective success over individual recognition.


    • Hungry - Hungry candidates are ambitious, self-motivated, proactive, and consistently seek out new challenges and opportunities for growth.


    • Emotionally smart (for leaders) -  Smart candidates possess good interpersonal and social skills, understand and empathize with others' emotions, communicate effectively, and navigate relationships and conflicts in a constructive manner. This is a little less important for knowledge workers (such as engineers) but vital for leaders

    We expand this list with our client's values as well as the core competencies necessary to do the job.


    Tying it all together

    Once you have a clear understanding of the new candidate's mission, the expected outcomes and the core values and competencies, you are then ready to write a job description and begin planning your sourcing strategy.

    Let's talk about how to write a great job description