The ClientWise Blog

Hiring for Fit: Why character can matter more than capability

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Aug 10, 2016 11:16:58 AM

hiring financial advisors You sit at your desk and review a pile of resumes. For the most part, you can quickly make a determination as to whether or not individual candidates have the requisite skills and experience needed to be the right fit. Therefore, from a purely technical ability perspective, personal interviews more often than not merely serve to validate your preconceptions – very infrequently raising a competency red flag. 

Spending valuable time talking about the tasks performed and responsibilities assumed at their previous employer rarely sheds much light on a candidate’s character and personal make-up. That’s why at ClientWise we urge our clients to use that all-important face time to dig deeper, in an effort to determine just how strong of a cultural and collaborative fit a particular candidate will be for you and your team.

Will they be comfortable working as part of an interdependent team, or are they conditioned to working more independently and autonomously? How flexible, adaptable and responsive will they be to changes in process or procedures, roles and responsibilities? Will they thrive in your team’s culture through a shared work ethic and client-centric focus? Do they demonstrate an ability to inspire and motivate others that could identify them as future leaders?

The following seven questions are specifically designed to help you uncover some of these key intangibles and better identify ideal candidates who will not only be able to hit the ground running but also integrate into the fabric of your practice for the long-term:

  1. Tell me about a past experience with a manager or team member who was difficult to get along with. What made the relationship difficult and how did you manage to effectively interact with that person?

  2. Describe the best team leader or teammate you’ve ever worked with. What personal qualities and values made them exceptional?

  3. What would you say is the biggest misconception your co-workers have about you and why do they think that?

  4. Can you describe an occasion where you were asked to do something new that you had never done before? How did you initially react and ultimately what did you learn from the experience?

  5. Describe an instance where you needed to “sell” an idea to your teammates and/or team leader. Walk me through how you went about it. What were the results?

  6. Tell me about a memorable time when an unexpected problem arose and your manager was unavailable. How did you handle the situation? With whom did you consult?

  7. Describe a time at work when you felt especially stressed or overwhelmed. What things did you do to handle the stress while still meeting your responsibilities?

Make sure to give candidates time to reflect on each question and think about their responses. Look for opportunities to dig deeper when a certain situation intrigues you or if their reply hints at missing information. Often, it’s when you dig below the surface that you gain the clearest insights into the essence of the individual’s character and temperament. And lastly, be sure to note the unspoken signals that a candidate’s body language conveys. It can speak volumes.

Coaching Questions from this article:

  1. Think about your current hiring process. How heavily is it weighted to technical competency as opposed to cultural fit?

  2. What steps can you insert into the process to effectively shift that balance?

  3. How involved do you currently allow your team to be in the candidate vetting and hiring process? Are there changes you can make that will increase their participation? 

 how teams get new financial advisors

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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Team Development