When hiring highly specialized staff, it can be very important to find the right person. This is because you cannot afford to suffer high staff turnover, to have issues relating to your professional liability marred thanks to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Highly specialized staff members are likely going to be the people you have to consult with to fill out your own knowledge also.
For example, it might be that you run a private hospital. You are very adept in marketing, managing a team, organizing the budget, and scheduling operations. You do not have a Ph.D. in medicine. This means you need to hire specialists of course. But what should you look for in your healthcare recruiting, or in any high-level potential employee with an enviable skill set?
Consider the following:
It is obviously essentially important that you verify past experience. Highly specialized jobs are not usually those you hope to train at your workplace. They will need to fulfill a high-level function from the first instance. This is why degrees or other courses in these fields will take years to complete, and allow for the first internships or exposure to the industry to be integrated parts of becoming qualified. Depending on the nature of your firm, and how you may or may not be interested in helping a new recruit learn, you might require either more or less past experience to shine. Sometimes, quality over quantity is important too. The candidate may only have worked as part of one firm before yours, but comes with glowing recommendations and a relatively impressive working record. This is where you should hope for a potential:
It is very, very rare for a highly specialized individual to never have their working deeds affect their reputation. Often, competence in this field, or even mistakes, will have fantastic or dire consequences depending on what the context of the situation was. You should look for candidates with flawless reputations. Sometimes, you might have to contact a previous employer and have them communicate generalities because highly specialized work can sometimes be confidential and quite secretive work. Your candidate may not be at liberty to discuss certain specifics, but you can certainly tell the character of a person by contacting their references, and ask how punctual they were, how many ideas they generated, how strong they were at identifying issues, and if they ever let a team down.
You should be looking for nothing but positives here. Be sure to frame everything in context as much as you can, and never made a snap decision just because of a simple mistake that was fixed in kind. At the very least, pursuing this line of inquiry can help you make much more informed decisions, and that in itself is a healthy thing to do.
Bright New Ideas
What ideas does your specialist bring to the table? You might ask your candidate to give examples in a pretend situation, or ask for examples regarding when they have shown innovation in the past. There might not be any correct answers here, and they might not have had an opportunity to flex this muscle before. However, the ability to creatively think is quite a positive one and will help you stay ahead of the curve.
This is especially important considering how the competence of this skillset might not be something you share as a business owner and manager. When depending on the cognitive ability and skillset of an employee to make decisions, you need to pursue the most factual, proven and tested lines of logic. This means that while creativity and bright new ideas are very important to keep your firm moving forward, you must also expect them to back up those ideas with factual reasoning.
This might even mean scheduling your interview in parts with a pretend yet useful project, and allow the candidate to think for a couple of days about how they would approach that problem. When tempered by facts and logic, their answer might just surprise you, or inform you that the person is way out of their depth with this kind of personal rumination.
There is an attitude that suggests simply because highly specialized staff are competent at what they do, they must not care. No one could ever work at such a high level and remain empathetic right? Surely they must give up some sense of personal emotional freedom to become so good at what they do. However, this isn’t the case. Those expending the effort to stay at the top of their game usually care the most. Just be sure you know this is true, and ask them what their priorities are. Housing an employee that cares about the work they do will mean they make less mistakes, or are much more dependable than originally thought.
You cannot test for this, but you can get a feel of a person’s character. That means ask your interviewer to get a read on the person, preferably someone with social intelligence.
With these simple tips, hiring specialist staff will be much easier than the function you expect them to fulfill.