Recently I was having to work with my HR guy on hiring somebody. I was reviewing her profile and she had the following under Communications Associate:
- Search Optimization
- Website Analyzing
- WordPress Site Optimization
- Keyword Research
- Domain Buying
- YouTube Video Optimizations
And a few others. However this brings me to an important idea about skill analyzing.
When you’re interviewing somebody it’s important to consider whether they understand the concept or whether they were trained to be a part of the industrial line.
When we asked her to define what Search Optimization meant her response was…
“to bring more customers in”
Now that may not be an incorrect answer, but it’s a far fetch from what I’d answer with. To me an acceptable response would have been “increasing the website ranking in the search engine for the keywords we are targeting for”.
I’m sure my response wasn’t even close. Here is the Wikipedia definition of the terms:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
Now you certainly might ask, so what?
Well the issue to consider here is whether a person actually understands their job as a whole, or their previous job just taught them on how to do a specific procedure.
For her, when asked to clarify what it was she did exactly she replied with…
“contacting site owners to buy links on their websites”
While I blessed her knowledge of SEO, I quietly puttered off the call and let my HR manager continue the interview.
I’ll make the point here that buying links is not only bad for business but it is just one tiny part of SEO whether you might consider it acceptable or not.
So what is the point I’m trying to make here?
When you’re trying to find a new hire, candidate or whatever, ask them questions about the specifics. That is what all the big boys do and yet it is so easily dismissed by so many small and inexperienced business owners.
So I make it a point to not only consider having people take a skill test, but use what is right there on their resume. Asking how they did something, but more or less why they did something is key to understanding whether they grasped the concept of their work or whether they were just trained to follow a checklist.
Anybody can say they did a million and one things, so don’t ignore that. Use that to drill down and determine whether they actually understand what it is they do.
All the more reason to do a little reading on each topic before the call on those various skills.
That’s all for now.
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