Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview.
So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’
– Steve Jobs
Every hiring manager thinks they know what it takes to fill their open requisitions.

Hiring Lessons: How Steve Jobs’ Legacy Is Influencing Recruiting image jobs 237x300They come up with a list of qualifications. Maybe they need someone with 5+ years experience and an MBA. Maybe experience working at a start-up is one of their requirements. Or maybe they simply need the perfect candidate with an impossible combination of startup and coding experience, a Master’s degree in Computer Science, and 5+ years of management coming out of a large company. But when it comes down to it, maybe they actually don’t need any of that.
Successful hiring managers and recruiters often look beyond what they put in their job descriptions and beyond the perceived company culture fit. They go with their instincts. This is not something you can teach, but it is something that over time, after having interviewed hundreds of candidates, you can learn to listen to. Once you become attuned to it, you will likely find that the best hires you make are based in large part on your gut instinct of an individual.
As Steve Jobs put it very candidly, what are your feelings about this person? Is this someone who can succeed under the constraints of the position? Is this someone who has passion and the drive to succeed? Or, conversely, is this someone who will treat this as their job and nothing more? In that half hour you spend with a candidate you won’t learn about what makes them unique unless you learn to ask the right question — and I don’t mean simply, “Tell me about yourself.” Perhaps the only question that really needs answering lies in Jobs’ question, “Why are you here?”