How do you determine the drive, the motivation, the determination of a candidate with such limited information? Your entire job rests on choosing the right candidate for the long haul, and you've only got a couple weeks to do it. Here are 4 tips that will make you a more effective identifier of hard working, driven individuals who don't just look good on paper:
1. Don't look at the school or company - look at their achievements
Just like a Harvard MBA could turn out to be a lazy, self-centred worker, a candidate from an obscure online university could be the next COO of a lucrative, competitive business. It's not about where they came form (though that information is useful); it's about what they did.
Many recruiters are convinced that good schools produce good candidates, and they're right (to an extent). However, "no-name" schools don't always produce flat candidates - in many cases, these schools and companies are where you'll find the next generation of high-level managers and entrepreneurs waiting and working for their shot. Don't be fooled by a lack of notoriety.
2. How far did they go above and beyond?
Obviously, a plethora of certification and additional degrees says something about an individual. It takes a lot of drive, hard work, and tenacity to make it through competitive programs like MBA's, managerial degrees, and business certifications. The pros and benefits of CIMA certification and other similar programs is that they speak wonders about individual drive and motivation. Don't let these candidates slip through your fingers.
It's fairly easy to see that candidates with additional degrees and certifications are more driven than those who lack them, but make sure that the certifications are geared towards the job you have. Just because they have a Strengthsfinder and MBTI certification doesn't mean they'll be an expert financial accountant or business consultant.
3. How is their over-the-phone etiquette?
In many cases, you can really tell how excited, driven, or motivated candidates are when you speak to them. It's an important skill to separate the I-just-need-a-job candidates from those who will actually benefit your company and want to stay for the long run.
When you call them, are they excited? Do they sound motivated, or do they sound like a simple "yes-man?" Even small things like tone and attentiveness matter. Asking open-ended questions is a great tactic - let them convince you of their excitement. Make them sell their skills.
Finding the right candidate is the name of the game - that's recruiting. Don't fall for false excitement or superficial skill sets - find the most determined candidate by really looking into what they've done, where they're from, and how they sell themselves in person or over the phone.