The fifth in a series of interviews with Pete Testa, founder of TestaSolarJobs.com:

So far you’ve identified quality and quickness as important attributes that a recruiter has to offer employers. This week you’re adding accuracy to that list – how does that come into play here? 
What it means is to make sure that I listen carefully to what the employer is telling me. That’s where accuracy starts, it’s getting a very clear understanding as to their requirements, technically as well as personally.

The technical component is relatively easy to assess – that’s the criteria that a company establishes for specific product knowledge, specific level of experience, specific education. Those are important criteria, but easy to define.

The personal component is equally important. That means discovering, “What’s important to the hiring manager?” That’s where my listening skills become key. It really comes down to a chemistry hire: Is there synergy between the two people?

“Synergy” is a word that comes up all the time. Why is it important in a personnel situation?
It comes down to the question, “Can they work together? Can these two (or more) people get along? The candidate may meet all of the technical criteria that the company is requiring, but if they can’t get along on a day-to-day synergy level, then it’s not going to work.

So my job as a recruiter is to get a clear understanding of the personal needs that this hiring manager is asking me for to find. What are their personal likes and dislikes in a candidate? My personal opinion of the candidate’s personality is not important on this level. What is important is the needs of the company, and then the needs of the hiring manager, because they have to live with that person day in and day out.

Is that synergy discernible immediately?
Yes, it’s established very quickly: Usually in the first five to six minutes, people will know that they’ll be able to get along. The rest of the interview is generally spent confirming their initial feelings.

So in getting feedback on those initial meetings, my first question to a candidate is, “How did you feel about this man or woman that you met? Is it someone that you can work with and for?” That speaks to the chemistry.

If the chemistry is there, I believe it means that I’ve accurately heard the requirements of the hiring manager.

How do you address accuracy on the personal chemistry front with your offerings?
With my one-to-one recruiting, Pete Testa Elite (PTE), both that personal aspect of accuracy, along with the technical side, is a very manageable part of the process. On our Website, TestaSolarJobs.com, the technical aspect is obviously easily covered with the wordings of job postings and resumes. But since this is a Website that’s highly focused on the solar industry, there’s a chemistry immediately established there: Everyone involved is in the community of the solar industry, so there’s an immediate connection right there. From that standpoint, the best possible match can result, and the employer benefits from having hired someone that came through a process where accuracy is paramount.

Based upon the 24 years of experience I have in recruiting, I feel proud to have brought such a high level of technical accuracy to TestaSolarJobs.com. But as this online jobs platform evolves, my interest is to see how we can measure not only that technical matchup, but the personal tie as well?

That’s an important part of the industry, and as we obtain feedback from people that have hired or obtained jobs through TestaSolarJobs.com, we’ll continue to evolve the site itself to make it the most accurate – and therefore most effective – recruiting resource in the solar industry.