Hiring the Right Candidate

June 4, 2014 Tara Slover

How Talent, Education and Culture Fit can Make or Break Your Chances at Landing a Job

When interviewing for a new position, candidates typically assume that what the hiring manager is looking is the “perfect” candidate.  Not only is this completely unrealistic, but it is also a less than optimal strategy.  So, what is it that Elixiter’s hiring managers look for, if not perfection?  It’s simple; Elixiter looks for “A” players who have the capacity to succeed today and tomorrow, regardless of fluctuations in job requirements.

To assess the candidate’s qualifications and evaluate whether they would be a good fit, Elixiter uses a TEC system.  The TEC system measures talent, education and culture, and enables interviewers to evaluate candidates consistently and critically.  The candidates are assigned an uppercase or lowercase letter indicating pass or fail for each of the three qualifications. The criteria for assessing each of these categories are as follows:

Talent – Using a technology analogy, this is the candidate’s raw computing power.  We are looking for people that articulate their capacity to think critically and synthesize information quickly.  Are they a 12-cylinder Ferrari or a 3-cylinder Yugo?

Education – This is the candidate’s skills and applicable work experience.  Do they have the work background or demonstrated interest in building the required skills to succeed at the position they are interviewing for? Skills can be taught and developed over time, so we need to take this into consideration.

Culture – This is the candidate’s fit with the company and its employees.  Will they align and promote the company’s values?

After evaluating the candidate based on these criteria, it is easier to make fair hiring decisions.  TEC is the ideal candidate, while TeC candidates have similar qualifications, but are light on previous direct work experience. Both of these candidates are a good fit at Elixiter.  An unqualified candidate is one who is scored as teC.  These applicants are a great cultural fit, but don’t meet the talent and education qualification standards.

Candidates who score as TEc, strong talent, strong experience, but low cultural fit, can seem like “no brainers” because they are genuinely smart, focused and successful.  Despite this, these candidates should be avoided at all costs.  They will create havoc and will destabilize team structures in an effort to drive their agenda through the organization. Elixiter is a company founded on strong cultural values, and hiring someone who doesn’t fit that culture isn’t a risk worth taking.  By fairly evaluating each candidate, using the TEC system, Elixiter has been able to maintain its unique culture while scaling to meet its customer’s needs.


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