Jennifer Scott has spent her working life perfecting her hiring skills. 

As the CEO and chief people officer of Hire Effect, a local consulting company, Scott utilizes this experience to find the perfect candidate during a global viral pandemic that has left 20 percent of American workers unemployed and filled the job market with 30 million people seeking employment. 

Today, hiring the right person for the right job is especially crucial.

“I’ve worked in an agency, I’ve worked corporate, and I’ve worked in a boutique,” Scott told Local Profile in July as part of the Local Leaders series on Facebook Live. “I’ve been a job seeker. I know what it feels like on the other side.”

Scott founded HireEffect in 2007 to help family-owned businesses hire staff based on core values. Eleven years later, HireEffect expanded their services to include bookkeeping, technology, and automation. She claimed that one of the most important decisions a business can make is who they hire.

“You can have the perfect skill set match and have a horrible culture fit, and that person is going to be toxic for your organization,” she said. “The people who do fit your culture are going to be frustrated, you’re going to be frustrated, and ultimately that employee’s going to be frustrated.”

She recommends that businesses use four documents to attract their ideal employees: the job description, a scorecard that objectively measures work performance, job advertisement, and an interview guide designed to assess culture fit.

One of Scott’s favorite interview questions is to ask candidates which of five criteria is most important to them in making their next career decision: money, recognition, stability, challenge, or environment.

“If they say ‘stability,’ and they’ve been a job hopper, I’m going to really probe why,” Scott said. “If they say recognition, and I don’t have a recognition culture, it’s probably not a good fit.”

When the core values don’t match up the job seeker, Scott will often cut the time short and tell the candidate what the mismatch was. She said the worst thing a job seeker can go through is not hearing back from the employer about why they didn’t get the job.

As COVID-19 leaves many individuals seeking employment, Scott encourages job seekers to continue seeking out a position with the right fit.

“Do your due diligence,” Scott said. “You need to interview this company as much as they are interviewing you. The majority of your life is spent working, so make sure it’s something you’re going to love doing.” 

Local Leaders by Local Profile is an ongoing video series featuring incredible local leaders sharing their best leadership insights. Going beyond business, Local Leaders aims to inspire and motivate you to become the best version of yourself. It broadcasts LIVE via the Local Profile Facebook page (click here.)

Disclaimer: HireEffect advertises with Local Profile. 

Vaibhavi Hemasundar

Vaibhavi Hemasundar is an undergraduate at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She loves singing, film photography, and devouring book after book.