Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO Mavens & Moguls
Paige Arnof-Fenn is Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls
Can you share a little about your background and experience in hiring and building successful teams?
I started a global branding and digital marketing firm 21 years ago and I have hired candidates throughout my career from when I worked in large Fortune 500 companies to early stage startups and now as an entrepreneur. Given how much the world has changed in the past 3 + years companies want to see how candidates have processed and incorporated lessons from all the uncertainty and stress in the market.
What are the top 3 qualities you look for when hiring anyone.
In my experience successful hires today have a growth mindset which enables them to adapt to change which is core to survival today. You can never stop learning/experimenting, success is about staying focused on the future and seeing opportunities ahead by embracing a culture of learning/growth. It takes effort and a commitment to excellence for people to continually learn/grow especially now in a virtual/hybrid environment. There is no one way to stay sharp/fresh so I recommend using a combination of reading/learning online and off/attending conferences/talks, networking/newsletters from influencers/TED talks/podcasts/finding mentors/ listening to all feedback good and bad. To stay relevant/keep growing successful people prioritize professional development to keep skills fresh and stay on top of new trends/technologies.
Soft skills like charisma and confidence are helpful for people to rise in the office environment, but when it comes to hybrid work, groups value helpfulness and reliability over bluster and charm, in a hybrid environment you want people who are independent, self-motivated and adaptable/flexible.
Being a strong communicator is key to community, customer and team engagement. There has never been a more important time to provide accurate, empathetic communication with transparency, truthfulness and timeliness. It is inappropriate now for content to appear tone deaf in any way. We have learned to acknowledge that now things are different so we need to communicate in a way that will give our audiences better focus, helping them to create a bridge from today to the future. We need to communicate in a way that combines information and need, synthesizing feeling and facts. I feel we have a tremendous responsibility because never before has communications had the power to help society in the way that it does right now. Words are part of the healing process and we can see every day messages that touch not only the mind, but also the heart and soul.
What are some examples of questions you might ask during an interview to determine whether a candidate possesses these key qualities?
'Tell me what the last new thing is you have learned and what inspired it.
How do you stay organized and prioritize your workload to meet deadlines?
How would you go about communicating a problem you're encountering on a project?
Have you had to complete a task with a team member working in a different time zone or office and how did you do it?
If you had to assign weightings to the above qualities, which would get the highest weighting, and why?
They are all so important but communications matters most. The clearer we communicate the better we are and the more we can accomplish.
How do you assess people for qualities like adaptability, resilience, and a growth mindset during the hiring process?
By getting specific examples and stories then checking references through the back channel.
How do you balance evaluating a someone's technical skills with their soft skills and overall fit for your team and company culture?
Many technical skills can be learned with training. Cultural fit and attitude matter more now.
Is there one particular source you tend to find the best candidates?
Networking in combination with LinkedIn
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to build a hiring process?
“A" team people like to be surrounded by other stars so you should hire slowly and fire quickly.