How a company responds to growth determines future success. Unfortunately, many leaders aren’t prepared to evolve with growth. Those who aren’t prepared, ultimately, downsize or fold.
Just like leaders, hiring pros must ready themselves to innovate with the challenges rapid growth presents. Without proper assessment tools and strategies, you could potentially hire many ill-fitting candidates in a condensed hiring period.
If you’re like most companies, there’s no time or room in your budget for this type of error, especially during a period of rapid growth. According to hiring pros in our How to Make the Most of Your Hiring Budget report, hiring budgets span between $1,000 to $5,000. However, only 34% say their cost per hire is less than $1,000.
Limited budgets and increasing internal needs could devastate your company. So, it’s critical to take a step back before jumping into rapid growth hiring. First, you and your hiring teams must establish non-negotiables. Determine what is more important for the company’s future, what components drive the culture, and what traits successful employees possess.
Once you have these critical details set, you should begin asking these interview questions to determine if candidates have what it takes to succeed during a time of rapid growth:
1. What soft skills do you believe will make you a success at this company?
According to LinkedIn’s Talent Trends Report, 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers agree candidates with strong soft skills are increasingly important. Those without the right soft skills for a specific role could hurt your ability to grow. In fact, 89% of LinkedIn’s respondents feel that “bad hires” commonly possess poor soft skills.
Asking a candidate this question reveals two critical elements — what soft skills a candidate believes make them strong and how they tie in with the company. Gaining a candidate’s perspectives of their soft skills fills in any potential assessment gaps.
Compare their answers to your evaluation of their soft skills and references’ responses. Then determine if their soft skills align with what the role requires for immediate success.
2. Please share a time when something unexpected happened when you were in the middle of a project. How did you handle it?
Rapid growth is often associated with fast-moving changes. Interruptions could mean a project changes in the middle, or their priorities need to shift quickly.
Look for signs of a candidate’s flexibility to go with the flow when needed and their ability to remain productive.
3. Where do you see yourself in ___ years?
It’s common for companies to ask the traditional five-year question. However, when hiring for growth, it’s important to know if candidates’ expectations align with the company’s plans for growth.
Before asking this question, determine your company’s goals and projections. Fill in the blank with the appropriate number of years to accurately assess how talent fits into both short- and long-term plans on a role-by-role basis.
4. In your previous work experiences, did you prefer working as part of a team or behind closed doors?
Your team has a multitude of working parts. Each role is unique in how it fits into the mechanism to keep processes moving forward.
As you search for new employees, clearly define the productivity style and personality types you need to fill each role. They may need to step into other roles, work independently, perform duties outside of their job description, or have the confidence to take the lead on projects without much guidance.
5. Why are you passionate about our mission and the responsibilities of this role?
This question gauges a candidate’s passion for your company. It also gives you a glimpse into their understanding of the role, your customers, and your product. Use candidates’ responses to determine if they have the knowledge and motivation to jump into a role immediately.
6. Please share how you overcame your biggest mistake in the workplace.
Mistakes are inevitable. Allow candidates to open up about prior workplace mistakes with this question. Listen for responses that show how they overcame the error by taking ownership. Top candidates will give you insight into their problem-solving skills and their ability to overcome unexpected obstacles.
Candidates who try to rationalize or place blame elsewhere should raise a red flag.
7. How will your unique skill set empower company growth?
Your company is unique in its plan for growth. Ill-fitting candidates have the potential to take your current team off course.
This question identifies a candidate’s perspective of their unique skill set. It’s crucial to gain their insight here because they may reveal key details other questions or tests didn’t. Analyze responses to assess whether their interpretation of their skillset will empower the company and aligns with current plans.