When companies approach us at Maple C&S, one of their biggest concerns is improving the quality of hires, says Mr. Anil Raikundlia, MD, Maple C&S. While their internal hiring processes are intensive, it is found that some hires are fantastic, and others are disappointments over time.

What companies tend to miss in conventional job interviews is that regular assessments and questions can’t tell them much about how candidates are like, under pressure or how fast they are at crisis control or do they work better alone or with a team?

Most employers recite time and again that people are the secret to their success – but it’s astounding how few companies focus on their hiring methods.

Anil advocates having a plan and a process which combines ‘experience, assessments and intuitive interviewing’ that prevents organizations from making hiring mistakes.

He firmly believes that a potential candidate does not just fill in a position but must solve at least one critical business need.

So, while credentials, qualification, and experience are important, the hirer has to be confident that the candidate will be able to deliver 100% results and not just fill in an empty position.

As an experienced HR professional, Anil shares that the hiring process cannot be the same for all candidates. Hiring practices need to be ‘customised’ for positions, organizations and sometimes even candidate to candidate.

This is where the ‘Art of Hiring’ comes into play as interviewers must tailor the hiring process to find the perfect person to solve a critical need.

Interviewers must learn how to process the ‘how, when and why’ of the information disclosed by the candidate. By developing an awareness and a sensitivity to when a certain fact was mentioned, what prompted the mention and how it was presented helps the hirer to judge verbal and non-verbal cues, which provide glimpses into the candidate’s personality and how their inherent strengths and flavors can be harnessed by the organization.

Says Anil, ‘My years of practice have helped me to refine my skills and techniques to cull through available candidates and assess their suitability in terms of culture and environment fit. It is imperative to know that the potential candidate has the potential, zeal, and motivation to match business needs’.

Tips to imbibe the art of hiring

Know as much as possible ahead of time. Tailor each interview to the actual candidate instead of using a guide.

Start by truly studying the résumé: Focus not just on jobs and qualifications but also on what the résumé indicates about the candidate’s interests and goals. For example, what has the candidate accomplished? What do changes in responsibilities and duties indicate about his/her performance? Your goal is to read between the lines to get a sense of the candidate’s successes and failures.

The real superstars show up in the details.

When you question, listen to the initial answer, pause, and ask how. Or why. Or when. Or what made a success difficult to achieve. Or what was learned from a failure. Or what made a job hard or a project difficult. Or what made a task fun. Or what the candidate would do differently, and why.

Don’t check off mental “boxes.” Seek excellence.

After you conduct enough interviews, it’s natural to start ticking off mental boxes during the interview. “Experience: good. Qualifications: good. Skills: good. Attitude: good. Work ethic: good. Cultural fit: good….”. Don’t look for ‘good’, look for a candidate who will excel in meeting your real business need.