9. Hiring / Recruitment skills and knowledge
Q: Tell us about a time when you had to manage a recruitment campaign or had to hire a new member to the team? What was your rationale for the new hire and how did you source and select the right person, with the right skills?
A: Whether you take over a well established team or are tasked to build one you’ll be involved in hiring at some point in your management role. It’s not always a like for like replacement and the managers I’ve worked with in the past have always taken the time to review the current skills, knowledge and the strengths and weaknesses of their current team before deciding on the new job requirements. Recruiters will be looking for this thought process and a relevant, reliable, fair and objective sourcing and selection plan to find the right people with the right skills.
Recruiting as well as managing people requires a good knowledge of employment law and you should include this in your example. When thinking through the sourcing strategy how did you decide how to attract the right candidates from a diverse pool of talent? When thinking about the selection methods how did you ensure it was fair, objective and complied with the Equality Act. Particularly in the public sector hiring managers will be looking for evidence of recruiting fairly and objectively and in a very structured manner. They will also be very interested about your knowledge and awareness of how you foster a diverse culture and working environment.
10. Problem Solving / Solutions Driven
Q: Give us an example of managing a problem to a successful conclusion?
A: During my career I’ve gone to my managers many times with problems and watched how they’ve asked lots of questions, gathered information, thought though the facts and offered a solution – there’s not a problem that hasn’t got a solution and good managers will demonstrate this on a daily basis. It’s reassuring when you have confidence in your manager – however, when you are the manager you need to hone this ability to view all the facts and be able to think problems through and either come up with a workaround (something usually used on a temporary basis until the bigger issues have been sorted) or compromise if the problem simply cannot be solved in the short term without more resources (money, people or time).
You need to demonstrate an innovative approach, a resourceful approach and often a realistic and economical approach – unless you are applying to a business with a huge budget and massive resources you’ll need to think of a time when you’ve suggested, recommended and implemented low cost solutions that have had significant results. Think about sharing examples from your career history that match the corporate culture of the role you are applying – if it’s a charity then resources will be used sparingly, if you are applying for a role in a company that places high importance on quality then again match your examples to the company’s values and core competencies.
We hope this has given you lots of food for thought and got you thinking about all the examples you could share with your potential new employer.