What to look for when recruiting

What attributes do you look for when hiring? Clearly, you need to bring the right skills and experience into your business, but equally important is cultural fit; finding the right blend of attitude, energy, and ethics.

We asked some of the UK’s top employers including: Dyson, The Gym Group, Wunderman, and Arighi Bianchi to understand what they look for when interviewing and recruiting people.

Here’s what they had to say…

The most important thing I look for is attitude. In other words, I want like-minded people with a level of enthusiasm that sets them apart.

– Nick Bianchi, Director at Arighi Bianchi

Aside from ensuring they have the smarts and skills to do the job, I try to see what kind of human they are. I look for people who can be trusted, who place value in others as well as themselves, who are decent and good types, and who display passion. Good listeners, not just talkers. People with a high level of integrity. Of course, if I like what I see initially, the next trick is to delve deeper – and figure out if it’s authentic or simply well-rehearsed interview mumbo jumbo!

– Martin McCourt, Ex-CEO of Dyson

Picking only one attribute is tough. Relevant experience is an obvious one, but there’s so much more than that to consider. I think that, ultimately, it comes down to their personality and whether they’d be a good fit with our culture, which is where psychometric profiling and personality testing can really help.

– John Treharne, CEO of The Gym

Passion for the role. You want everyone playing to their strengths – and if someone isn’t passionate about what they’re doing, they won’t be giving it their all.

– David Curtis, COO at Wakelet

 Of course there can never be one single thing you look for so, in my view, you need to determine what is the single attribute that any candidate simply cannot do without? For me that is attitude. How much does the candidate really want the job? How much work have they done to understand as much as possible about the position beforehand? How much do they already know about the organisation? What do they feel they can bring to the role and the organisation? Their attItude is key. Everything else is of secondary importance.

– Andrew Patrick, Ex-CEO of the British Film Commission

I discovered this method of screening. Interviews elevate superficial and rehearsed answers to the level of key performance indicators, but can easily hide the unfortunate underlying reality. Asking to see something the candidate has previously written, preferably related to their work, will provide you with a level of insight that you won’t otherwise get until you start working with them. And that, of course, will be a little late. Don’t make a final decision until you’ve done this. It’s even more important than taking references.

–  Ray Hanks, Ex-MD of Wunderman

Want to discover how the firms like Virgin, Travelex, The Hut Group, Box, and EE determine candidate fit? Get your FREE copy of our ‘Ultimate Guide to Interviews’ here to find out more.

Originally published 14th August 2018