April 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
You’ve heard it…and have probably even said it before, “I’ll know it when I see it.” The same can be true with recruiting. Your firm, or company, has a certain culture that cannot always be quantified easily because it’s more of a feeling you get while visiting with people who make up that culture. Undoubtedly, it’s important when recruiting to have a list of legal interview questions you ask each candidate to ensure that you are giving them all an equal opportunity to showcase their skill-set, knowledge, and experience. It is also important, though, to be looking for additional cues that differentiate them from other candidates. The following are things to consider when determining whether or not a candidate will fit in with your unique culture:
- How much are they talking? In public accounting especially, we are accountable for every minute of our time. If a candidate is too wordy or spends too much time elaborating on an answer, chances are they will do the same with their work. This could hinder them from staying within the budget of a job.
- Are their answers shorter than the questions? If the individual plans to stay in public accounting, which is always our goal when hiring someone, they will eventually have the opportunity to meet with clients. If they are not able to actively engage in conversation, then they may have a hard time being successful in building relationships with clients down the road.
- Do they have activities or hobbies that focus on others? A big part of our profession is service. Whether we are serving our clients, the community, or each other, our successful individuals have a heart for service and a desire to see others succeed. Countless hours are given during our busy tax and audit season for the purpose of helping others achieve their personal and professional goals. The right candidate must share this same vision and purpose in order to have contentment with their role in our culture.
- Will they support your mission, vision and values? Our values are: integrity, excellence, respect, teamwork, family, and fun. While you can’t pick up on all of those things in an interview, if you listen carefully, you can pick up on some of them.
- Are they respectful in conversation? Be sure they are allowing an even exchange of information by not dominating the conversation or interrupting. Here are a few things to watch for: are they really listening when you are talking, do they speak respectfully of past employers, is the word “I” said frequently when referring to team projects rather than “we,” are they smiling often and exuding satisfaction when referring to their work, hobbies and life in general, etc.? A candidate will never look as good to you as they do during the interview, so if you are not impressed by them, it might make sense to continue looking for the right fit.
Whatever it is that makes your culture unique is what you should be tapping into when recruiting. While you’ve heard the saying “I’ll know it when I see it,” have you also heard, “It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch?” This is why it’s so important to take your time when choosing who to add to your firm or company. The right, or wrong, person can make all the difference in the world.