When you’re recruiting, it’s tempting to look at your best and most productive current employees and try to find someone just like them. But this is a classic recruitment mistake that can lead to creative sterility and drag down team performance.
We all have a natural tendency to favour candidates who are like us and share a common background and interests. However, it’s important when recruiting to look past that and try to separate out a candidate’s motivations and aptitude for a role from their personality and circumstances.
A more diverse workforce made up of people with different perspectives, backgrounds and skills can supply that creative tension that is so effective at fostering imagination and inspiring marketing teams. It also makes your team agiler when tackling unforeseen problems or taking advantage of new opportunities.
Equally, you need to hire someone who will work within your existing team and will create constructive, not unproductive, conflict. Your team needs to be able to bounce ideas off of one another and disagree in an equally creative way, not get bogged down in petty arguments.
So how do you go about it?
- Firstly, it’s important to know what type of person your team really needs. Have a good look at your current team and work out where you might have any skills gaps. Competency mapping or SWOT analysis can help you uncover any weaknesses. What sort of people make up your current team? Is it lopsided in any way? Are there areas that are being neglected and could do with a ‘champion’? When you have this information, it’s much easier to put together a person specification for the perfect candidate (find out more about the skills needed in a successful B2B Marketing agency).
- When it comes to conducting interviews, use a standard set of questions and scoring pattern for each candidate. This will help you to stay neutral and avoid relying on your gut feeling, which can be easily swayed by a candidate’s personality rather than their ability to do the job. Asking a colleague to sit on interviews will also give you a useful second opinion.
- Consider personality profiling, e.g. Myers-Briggs testing which divides personalities into 16 distinct types. These tests are very popular in business settings, but it’s important to remember there are no wrong or right results and that results cannon predict how someone will react in every circumstance, merely which they are most comfortable in. You’ll also need to test your current employees to compare and contrast results.
- Asking interviewees directly about their motivations, ideals and preferred styles of management can also be very useful in determining their cultural fit. However, it’s important to avoid leading their answers in any direction, as an interviewee will obviously always try to tell you what you want to hear. Similarly, when checking a candidate’s references, ask their referees the same kind of questions, such as “How did the candidate handle making mistakes?”, “How well did the candidate work with other team members?” or “What do you think motivates this candidate?” Questions like these can help assess a candidate’s social skills and internal drives and help predict how they will behave in the future.
- If you’re finding it difficult to judge how well a candidate will fit within your team, you can always organise an onsite visit or drinks out with the team, to see how they behave outside of an interview setting and find out what your other employees think of them. You can also consider offering the role on a temporary or contract basis; to give you time to judge the candidate in a real work setting.
How can Invoke help?
Invoke has a great track record in helping businesses put together successful marketing and business development teams. We can use our first-hand experience to advise you on your job description and our huge network of candidates to find you the ideal employee.
If you’d like help putting together your marketing dream team, please get in touch! Feel free to pop Jo an email at email@example.com or give us a call +44 (0)1525 290 870.