If you’re a hiring manager in Houston, then you know how important it can be to find the right candidate for the role. Companies are experiencing the crunch as Houston grows but the skilled workforce ages and retires.
Finding great applicants that can step in and take your company to the next level is a never ending challenge, especially in Houston’s energy and construction industries.
Of course, distinguishing good applicants from great is easier said than done. Simply looking at an application may not be enough to make a final decision. In most cases you probably do interviews to narrow down the field.
Even after doing interviews you may be left with several candidates that you think are right for the job.
How can you take that final bunch of applicants and choose the right person for the job? Here are some hiring tips for managers in Houston to consider when making the next big hire.
1. Can They Do the Job?
This seems like an obvious question to ask but it often goes overlooked. When reviewing an application you probably look for previous experience, industry experience, and education.
If you are in the oil and gas industry then you probably don’t need to be told about the skills gap in Houston being created by aging and retiring workers. Finding skilled people to fill those roles can be a difficult task.
Asking the right questions during the interview can help you get a better understanding of the applicant’s experience. Experience in a role at one company may not directly translate to a similar role within your own organization.
Try to come to the interview with some role specific questions that will help you drill down to better understand the past experience that the applicant has. Still need some interview assistance? Try looking at some new interview questions to add to your arsenal.
2. Do They Fit the Culture?
Every business has its own unique culture. While a workplace culture can change, it can take years for that change to take place. If you are proud of your workplace culture then you want to ensure that your new hire will fit in with the team.
In fact, some of the most common reasons that employees leave for new positions all relate to the culture of the company. Finding someone who will fit the culture could prevent you from having to rehire for the same role in the near future.
Take time to list some attributes you think would help someone fit into the culture of your company.
Without revealing those attributes, ask questions that will help you get a sense of how the applicant will fit in once hired. The right person for the culture is likely to be much happier at work, produce better results, and stay longer with the company.
3. Do They Ask the Right Questions?
A lot of people treat an interview like a one-sided discussion. Hiring managers ask the questions and applicants answer them. That’s how it’s always done, right?
Actually, applicants should be asking questions as well. After all, good applicants want to make the right career move so they are interviewing you as a representative of the company just as much as you are interviewing them.
Taking note of the questions that the applicant asks can reveal a lot about them. First, it tells you if they did any background research before the interview. Someone who has taken the time to research the company clearly cares about putting their best foot forward.
With skilled workers reaching retirement age, many potential hires in Houston will be asking about career growth potential. This question could give you a lot of insight into the future potential of the person sitting in front of you.
Asking good questions also shows that the applicant is engaged. If they ask follow up questions or clarification questions then you can be sure that they are engaged in the conversation rather than just going through the motions.
4. What are Their Certifications?
Having the right amount of experience is one thing but having the right certification is an entirely different thing. Certified employees often have a better working knowledge of the job and can be trusted to do the work right.
For people who are hiring project managers, you should be looking for PMP certification. While this may not be required in all roles or industries, it does tell you a few important things about the applicant.
First, project management professional (PMP) certification shows that applicants are willing to invest in their own future. Passing a PMP certification exam is no simple task and if someone has completed the exam then you know they were willing to study and work hard to gain certification to help them get noticed.
In addition, PMP certification usually means that the applicant has taken a course to help them gain the knowledge for the job. In many of these courses, students are able to interact with experienced instructors and get a firsthand look at what project management is all about.
If your new hire is going to be in a customer-facing role then certification is a great way to help build confidence in your customers as they meet your newest team member. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients; would you rather work with someone who is certified or someone who is not?
5. What is the Long-Term Potential?
Hiring the right person for the job is not always an easy task. When you finally complete your hiring process then you want to be sure that the new hire sticks around for a long time. How can you help ensure this during the hiring process?
Use questions and information to understand the long term potential of the applicant. Are they in it for years to come or is this just a job they are going to keep until something different comes along?
Certifications and education are great aspects of an application that may help you determine if this is a potential long term solution for your open position. Someone who has taken the time to get relevant certifications or education clearly has shown commitment to the industry or the role prior to beginning the interview process.
You could also ask questions about the applicant’s future ambitions. This doesn’t have to be in the form of the stereotypical interview question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Instead, ask questions about where the applicant hopes to take their career. Perhaps this role is not going to be their role forever but do they see themselves moving up within the company ranks? With Houston’s population growing at a rate of 0.25% and skilled workers retiring, you want to look for someone who can move into new or increasing roles as your business grows.
People who have aspirations to grow within a role are the kind of people you want to hire. While they may not stay in this role forever, they clearly have the drive to move up into new roles.
6. What is the First Impression?
First impressions aren’t everything, but they certainly are important.
How your applicant presents themselves for your interview is probably similar to the first impression they will give your clients and customers.
Business fashion may be changing but ask yourself if the clothes fit the role. Did the applicant greet everyone with enthusiasm or do they seem bored and aloof? First impressions are a great way to help narrow down your applicant list and choose the right person.
Do You Want to Impress Hiring Managers?
If you are looking to get hired as a project manager then all of the above tips should help you during the interview process as well. Are you capturing the attention of hiring managers or causing them to look the other way?
As mentioned, certification is a great way to impress hiring managers. In Houston, hiring managers are always looking for project managers that can take on the new role with minimal downtime due to training.
PMP certification in Houston helps you stand out from the rest and also gives you the chance to increase your earning opportunity. People with PMP certification can earn substantially more than those without certification in the same role.
Most importantly, you need to practice your interview skills. Certification helps get you in the door and in front of the hiring manager but now you need to be able to sell yourself. What makes you a unique applicant? How will you make the role your own and grow it into a successful position?
Research companies that you plan on applying to and be prepared to answer specific questions. Also, always prepare a few questions to ask the hiring manager during your interview to show that you have been listening and engaged in the interview.
These hiring tips for managers in Houston will help project managers connect and find the right fit for their companies’ success.
Yada is not just the leader of the Project Management Training Institute (PMTI). He helped to write significant portions of the project management standards worldwide. He is helping PMI right now in reviewing, directing, and leading the development of the 7th edition of the PMBOK(r) Guide to incorporate the most monumental changes to project management standards in 35 years. He shares his wisdom with readers via the PMTI blog.