Hiring Beyond the Resume

A resume can offer great insight into a candidate’s experience and professional background; however, to assess a true fit for a role, hiring managers need to look beyond the resume. There are so many qualities that cannot be perceived on paper. When hiring talent for a growing team, you want more than someone who can simply perform the day-to-day responsibilities. By asking strategic interview questions, hiring managers can not only find someone who is right for the role, but someone who will contribute to the community and fit in with the unique company culture.  Classic interview questions are often centered on skills, responsibilities, and past experiences. This information is critical to assessing readiness for a job, but it often skips over personality. Common interview questions alone don’t allow the interviewer to get to know the person they are interviewing. Finding the perfect hire for your team is not easy, but through tactful conversation and intentional relationship building, you can gain valuable information about a candidate’s personality, and ultimately learn how to make the best hire.  

Interviewing Through Conversation

As a recruiter, I like to maintain a level of openness and honesty with my candidates. I am passionate about getting to know who they are on a personal level, which not only helps me find the perfect job opportunity for them, but it often allows me to conduct an even more effective interview process.  Conversational interviewing is the best way to ask the right questions while simultaneously getting to know a candidate. For example, ask them about their weekend – What did they do? Did they go anywhere? This serves as a natural way to make a connection, while also setting the conversation up to ask about location and what their desires for a commute may be. Not only do you get to know them as a person, but you also now know if they live near where the potential opportunity is or if they would be comfortable with a commute. You learn so much more from a natural conversation than you ever would during a traditional interview. By paying attention to body language and how the candidate answers questions, I get direct responses while also understanding the type of person they are. This understanding of personality helps me find a role that will ultimately be a long-term fit for both the candidate and my client.  

Understanding Expectations

When understanding if someone is ready for a new role, it is important to understand their desires and motivations. One question I always ask is “What is something you are looking for in your next role that you feel is not being fulfilled in your current role?” This allows individuals to reflect and communicate what they are seeking in a new opportunity. In many cases, you will be able to rule someone in or out of an opportunity just based on how they answer this question. For example, if a role is 100% on-site and a candidate wants to work remotely, you will know immediately that this role may not be the best fit. Alternatively, if a candidate expresses a certain value was not being met in their last role and the opportunity at hand has a large emphasis on this value, the candidate could be a strong contender.  Other important values that arise with this question include:

  • Work/life balance
  • Management structure
  • Growth opportunities
  • Company culture
  • Social values

By building a genuine rapport during an interview, you can ask questions and gain a stronger sense of who someone is and the values that are important to them in their job search. Plus, it elevates the candidate's experience, putting them more at ease and allowing them to bring their full authentic self to the interview.  

Experience Beyond Numbers

Resumes are often formatted chronologically, showing the quantifiable time a candidate spent in individual positions. While this information is important and can be used to assess skill level and expertise, it is also important to consider factors such as leadership and scope. An individual at a large company for a longer period of time may look appealing on paper, but after understanding their experiences, it’s possible they were siloed into one avenue of work or not given much leadership or responsibility. On the other hand, a candidate with slightly less experience at a smaller company may have had the opportunity to gain cross-functional experience, have their hands involved in more functions, and hold leadership roles within their team.  Aside from skills, culture fit should also be considered alongside experience. Sometimes the perfect culture fit may come at the price of a less exact skill match, or the perfect skill match may come at the expense of a less aligned culture fit. Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the hiring manager and the employer to determine what the most valuable traits are for the role at hand.  At Career Group Companies, we have refined a hands-on approach to the recruiting process. Our philosophy is centered on honesty, transparency, and authentic relationship building to create the best matches that mutually benefit our clients and candidates for the long term. If you are ready to bring new talent onto your team, we are here to make sure you find the absolute best fit. Connect with us on the Hire Talent page or follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date with our brand. Let us be your personalized advisors to create a solution that lasts – let's find your people, today.

Heather Hones

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A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Heather attended the University of Missouri, Columbia to earn her degree in Textile and Apparel Management/Marketing and Merchandising. Prior to her current position, she was a stylist at Nordstrom. Now, working for both the Fourth Floor Team and Career Group Team, she enjoys pursuing a career where she can combine her love for networking with people along with her interest in fashion and sales. When she’s not in the office, you can find her walking down by the seaport or searching for New York’s strongest coffee!

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