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Hiring Managers: Don’t Conduct Another Interview Without Reading This.


By Steve Margalit

It’s about more than capabilities. It’s about more than skills. And it’s about more than experience, credentials, training, and attitude. To hire the right person for the job, you have to go deeper than “qualifications.”

Most finalists you interview for a position are capable of performing the job. After all, as finalists, they likely have the background and skill set that aligns with the key job responsibilities of the position. But that’s just not enough to ensure exceptional outcomes. Merely being able to perform a job well is not the best indicator for success.

The difference between a capable candidate and an outstanding one is this: The outstanding candidate ties the position to the strategic objectives of the organization. This bears repeating:

The outstanding candidate ties the position to the strategic objectives of the organization

So, how do you tell the good from the perfect? Ask your candidates this question:

“What is the Value of this Position to the Company?”

Does the candidate understand why this position exists? Do they know how this position contributes to the profitable growth of the organization? Let’s take the example of Payroll Manager. When a candidate for this opening is asked to define the value of this position to the company, they typically will answer one of three ways:

“To make sure that payroll is processed accurately and on time.”

While this is a correct answer, it does not tie the position to a strategic goal. Yes, the Payroll Manager is indeed responsible for the timely and accurate preparation of payroll. But that’s the job description, not the value. This candidate will likely perform their job well. But will he have a passion for his job? Will he be motivated to go the extra mile? Not likely if he views his position as merely a job.


“To make sure that employees can collect their paychecks on time.”

This is a better answer because the candidate understands that their job has a real impact on people. Someone who understands this is more likely to assume additional responsibility and pay attention to details to ensure they deliver excellent results. They have tied the position to the impact it has on others, but not to the strategic objectives of the company.


“To promote long-term employee retention, optimize morale, and protect the company’s reputation by maintaining the trust of the workforce.”

This candidate understands the true value of this position. To answer this question, they put themselves into the shoes of a company executive or owner. The reason this position exists is because it is critically important for the company to keep their workforce satisfied and motivated. Without that, they face the crippling problem of high turnover, low morale, and poor productivity. Making employees wait for their pay is a surefire way to foment dissatisfaction and break the trust between employer and employee.

Yes, this person understands the true value of the position. Not only will they be more likely to do what it takes to get the payroll processed on time, but they will also be more likely to set up new systems and processes to make payroll management easier, more accurate, and seamless for the workforce.

This person views the position as more than a job. It’s a critical function that matters. It matters to them, to the employees they service, and to the company leaders. They understand that performing this function poorly has dire consequences, and they will focus their energies and capabilities on making sure they put in their best effort to achieve the outcomes needed for success.

The role of Payroll Manager is just one example. You can fill in the blank with any other position within a company, from entry-level to executive-level. Every position has a significant value to the organization, or it would not exist. The more an employee understands this value, the better they will be at their job and the more pride they will take in it.

Perfect Match

With more than 60 years of experience, a nationwide presence, hundreds of professional recruiters, and 40 different areas of specialization, FPC National has the expertise, network, and resources to find the perfect match for your job vacancies every time. Building a powerful, engaged, and productive workforce begins with effective recruiting. Reach out to your local FPC office to find out how we can meet your strategic objectives through proper workforce planning.

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