In a recent string of interviews, we talked with Asif Ali Gohar about many things, both about his business and his home life. One of the things that we talked about was how he picks the people on his team and how he determines who will bring the most to the business.
What things do you look for in a new candidate?
When I am looking for a new candidate, I look both for their qualifications and their experience, but also for how they interact with the team around them. It is important to me that they be able to do the job but also that they are able to fit into the structure that we have.
Experience is often more valuable than what is taught in a school and especially in this instance where the procedures and materials that we use, as well as the machines that support them, are very different from any other business and it is important to find people who are adaptable and can learn new ways to do things.
Do you do the interviews yourself or do you have someone else who does them?
I have other people, who do our human resources work, that begin interviews. If they find someone who is outstanding but doesn’t meet the education or experience that we requested, I will do a final interview with them and make the decision.
I have hired people who know what to look for and we work closely when determining what to look for in a new hire, so I trust them to make most of the decisions.
For positions that are higher in the business or that I will be working with personally every day I will be more involved in the process and do interviews myself. I want to find people who I will be able to work with and who will fit well into the team.
Have you turned down a candidate that had the right qualifications but did not fit in another way?
Yes. When we have a candidate who has applied and has the school needed and who has worked in the industry before we will interview them and then see if they will fit into the business.
As we work as a team and are interacting with each team member almost daily it is necessary to have someone who will be able to be part of that team.
We also need people who can adapt easily and learn new ways to do things, so if they are unable to do that or unwilling to, then we will choose another candidate.
Do you give people a chance if they do not have all of the requested qualifications but have more experience or a different approach or personality?
We will certainly consider people who have not had the exact background that we prefer in regard to education or who are new to the industry.
People who are new to the school or who have decided to not go to college are offered an opportunity if they fit well with the other employees and they are more willing to learn.
Someone who is excited to learn and grow with the business will often work harder and come up with new ideas more than someone who just does the same job year after year.