We often compare hiring and interview to dating. In dating, the couple will need to go through a series of dates to determine if this is a relationship that could be long-term. Each person will have to decide if the other checks off the boxes for what they are looking for. The hiring process is no different. Both the candidate and the hiring manager will need to go through a series of conversations and interviews to determine if this hire is the right fit. Red flags can be easy to spot in interviews such as showing up late or not asking questions. However, green flags can sometimes be harder to identify. Here is what to look for when choosing a candidate:

What do they bring to the table?

These can be some of the obvious boxes a candidate needs to check off. These can be the type of things you might see on their resume or LinkedIn page- the hard skills. If you are looking for a Process Engineer, maybe you need someone with a Chemical Engineering degree and continuous improvement experience. These are easy yes or no boxes that can be checked off in a candidate’s background. Maybe the candidate you are looking for needs more specific experience for the job you are trying to fill. This could be experience in a specific industry, with a specific material or program. This is where conversations become important to be able to see those green flags in candidates. Dive into conversations to discover what kind and how much experience the candidate has in these specific areas. Think about where your current team may be lacking and decide if the candidate could be an asset in those areas.

Soft skills and enthusiasm

This is where a hiring manager will need to get a gauge on a candidate. Soft skills can be things like communication, leadership style, and empathy. These are things that you typically will not find in a resume but instead through conversations and getting to know the candidate. Personality and cultural fit come into this too. Will the candidate fit in well and feel at home with your company culture? What can they add to your company culture? Think about how your interview flows. Was it conversational and seamless? Bring in team members that this candidate will be working with to get their input as well. It’s also important to get a gauge of the candidate’s enthusiasm. If the candidate does not seem excited about the role or the company, that could be a red flag. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut.

Partner with a Recruiter

Working with a chemical recruiter can help in gauging hard and soft skills. They can also act as a filter to identify the right candidate quicker. A niche-specific recruiter will have a network built of candidates that they can tap into. They can also offer advice or act as another layer in testing a candidate’s experience and personality. This will also give your talent search reach into the passive candidate market and can offer a way to acquire industry knowledge. To increase the chances of making a long-term hire that you feel good about, trust your gut, team, and recruiting partner in helping make the right choice.

-Written by Wes Washington: Managing Director & Specialty Chemicals Recruiter