We had a chance to speak with Jessica Campbell , the HR Manager at Voices.com , an online marketplace connecting businesses with voice over talent. Below are some of her experiences.
How important is the job description? What should be communicated about the job and/or company as its the first hook?
The job description is very important. This is really what a hiring manager should stick to when they’re interviewing candidates. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the experience someone has, but if that experience doesn’t match the job description or relate to the job you’re hiring for, you can end up hiring the wrong person. The job description also allows everyone involved in the hiring process (i.e. HR, supervisor, CEO, etc.) to know exactly what kind of candidate the job requires. It allows everyone to be on the same page.
For any prospects, how did you go about the interview process? How do you vet/filter ideal candidates? Is it just one conversation/ standard process?
For the vast majority of interviews we do, we will conduct one per person. Rarely do we conduct more than one interview per person, but we have done it in the past when key staff members involved in the hiring process were unable to attend the initial interview. Our interviews last about 45 minutes and usually have 3 people in them – myself (HR manager), our CEO and the supervisor of the department that’s hiring. We keep our interviews fairly conversational, asking lots of questions that allow us to not only hear about the person’s experience, but also about what drives them to succeed, how they define success, what their ideal job/company looks like, etc. We generally have the same core set of questions that will be asked, but each of us will also bring new questions depending on the job being hired for and the candidate being interviewed. We’ll also ask questions on the spot based on the conversation that’s happening.
What do you look for in this person? What are the specific examples/ things that have worked for you?
Past winning candidates – those we’ve hired – have been very personable. They’re easy to talk to and fall into the conversational flow of the interview without difficulty. This is important because we are a very customer-facing company – we are in contact with our customers every day, all the time. So someone needs to be able to speak well and have a conversation easily. The candidates also need to know what we do. Since Voices.com is a rather unique business, it’s important to us that the candidate do a bit of research and know what we do, even if it’s on a relatively basic level. If they have no idea what it is that we do, that doesn’t bode well much of the time – it demonstrates a lack of interest for the job/company in the candidate. Our current staff is very vested in this company – I can honestly say there is no one here that just comes to work to fill their seat for 8 hours. They care about what we’re doing and want to help the company succeed. We look for that kind of interest from the candidate in the interview and that is what can really make or break a candidate for us – passion for what’s happening at Voices.com.
What are the mistakes you made while hiring this or other people?
A mistake we’ve made (only once!) was hiring someone based on the attributes they could potentially bring to the company, and not necessarily how they would fit into the actual job being hired for. That’s why the job description – and sticking to it – is so important. If you hire someone based on what they might be able to do for you, it is a much bigger risk than it is to hire someone that you’re confident has the experience and knowledge to perform the task at hand. This particular candidate did not last through the three-month probationary period and we learned a very valuable lesson about sticking to the job description and not getting carried away with attributes that don’t fit the job.