We have traditionally hired for fit in belief that skills can be taught. This has contributed to our high retention rate - as our average tenure here is 8.5 years.
We typically have a laid-back atmosphere that is free from much corporate-speak. Our employees tend to be highly driven and don't like to let each other down - but also know how to play equally hard. Everyone is very passionate about their work and this company. One side effect of that passion is that we aren't always the most PC bunch. I realize some of you are opposed to that - but it does work for us.
All of this said, our rapid growth has caused a need for more technical proficiency in certain positions - such as the one we are currently in a hiring quandry over - which is a paralegal to manage licensing and agreements in the financial services industry.
We have three very good candidates in front of us. Random thoughts on each:
Candidate A - Hasn't gotten her big break into this field. Medium degree of experience. Personality is the best fit for our company. Seems very driven. Lacks a certificate, but has an unrelated bachelor's degree.
Candidate B - Has a good amount of experience - coupled with a master's degree. Ranks in the middle of the other candidates for both personality and experience. Acquired degrees while raising 3 children on their own - so obviously driven. Considered going to law school as well and may pursue if this job isn't hers. Would we lose her in the future to this? Is this person too good of a fit - in other words, would she stick her nose to the grindstone?
Candidate C - Excellent amount of experience. Speaks the legal language as easily as breathing. Great organization skills - gave concrete examples of how she organized her work. Personality is definitely pleasant - but she is the least likely to be a fit. We worry that she may be offended from time to time and would not likely fit easily with a group to go out to lunch or socialize outside of the office. This is important here because no one leaves this company - we are practically a family.
These are our impressions after two interviews and discussions with the recruiting agency. The first interview was with the hiring manager. The second interview was with the two other members of this group's team. This session was purposefully kept more casual and freeform. We like to give the interviewees a chance to ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking the hiring manager - such as about benefits, hours, dress code, management style, etc.
After hours of discussion, we are more confused than ever. It isn't likely references checks or background checks will eliminate one of them. We believe they would all come back as a high C on DISC - which is what is perfect for this position. StrengthsFinders could be interesting - but may muddy the waters even more.
Our next step in this process will be a call with our corporate counsel and then group interview and dinner with reps from various departments in the company.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to narrow this down? If I can provide any more information to help explain the situation, I would be happy to.