How can I make sure I get the best candidate when recruiting?

‘Hire in haste and repent at leisure’ is an adage that should serve as a reminder to every organisation looking to recruit new talent. If you use inaccurate hiring processes to service your immediate requirement, you might trigger a series of negative consequences that will result in poor employee and manager performance in the long run.

Different jobs require different skills and motivations, so never underestimate the importance of hiring the right candidate for the right job! The time and resources spent in training them and trying to get them to fit in, will all go to waste if they don’t have what it takes to meet your expectations. And, before you know it, you’ll be none the richer and back to square one!

Hiring is all about probability; some recruiters or employers go with their gut, while others try to find some method in the madness to make sure the candidate ticks all the right boxes.

Here are some ideas to help you refine your recruiting process to zero in on the candidate who could be the perfect fit for the role and the organisation.

Formulate an accurate job description

Your job description with the success factors for the position should tell it all, no holds barred. You also have to be prepared with interview questions that will give you concrete answers to how candidates have exhibited successful behaviours for the target job in the past. Ask them to detail examples that prove they have applied the right skills, knowledge, and personal qualities to get the task done successfully.

Create the ideal panel of interviewers

The panel conducting the interview should ideally comprise line staff and managers in the department as they will be best equipped to evaluate prospective candidates on specific factors. If recruiters are doing the job for you, they should be given a clear brief on how and what the candidates are to be evaluated on.

But here’s the catch: You’re banking on your candidates being truthful on all counts to make an accurate evaluation! Don’t fall for charisma… the most charming candidate is not necessarily the best person for the job.  So, if something smells fishy somewhere along the line, do not hesitate to cross-question till all your doubts have been cleared.

Assess the strengths, don’t go by the resume alone

The personality traits, skills, qualities and experience required to add value to the role has to be identified at the earliest to frame to have a clear hiring criteria. Each job has a different description, and most often, a brilliant resume alone will not be proof of the pudding.

For instance, if you are a service provider in any field, your employees should not only possess the perfect skillset for their role, they should also have the mental and psychological strength to cope with pressure, stringent deadlines and the finickiest clients! The tendency to crash and burn will subtly reveal itself if crafty questions are included in the interview.

If the job is repetitive in its nature, you will need to determine whether the candidate has it in them to stay motivated enough to do the same thing over and over again without falling prey to boredom or pure disinterest!

Look for practical experience and incorporate tests

Wherever feasible you should try and incorporate tests into the screening process to help assess the skill set of the candidate first-hand. An impromptu test or assignment will give you a clearer picture about their practical abilities, analytical skills and their resourcefulness when presented with a new challenge.

There’s nothing like narrowing down a candidate with practical experience related to the job because that cuts down the training and adjustment period in a new environment. The end result is, you gain more productive hours with this type of hire, provided other essential parameters are also acceptable!

Watch out for chequered job history

A person committed to his or her career is the candidate you want to hire. Candidates who have a chequered job history and those who job-hop for short-term gain cannot possibly have loyalty or consistency as strengths.

Ask appropriate questions during the interview and make enquiries at their previous organisation to validate the candidate and judge whether he/she has had difficulty getting along with managers/colleagues or even had trouble making good on commitments. If so the chances are they will not be a good fit in your organisation. There could be two sides to the story, but you wouldn’t want to be caught on the wrong side and make a bad hire.

Personality and social skills of the candidate matter

The personality and professional traits of a candidate should add value to your company and the prevalent work culture. Hiring a person with strong social skills can only be an asset when communicating with clients and interacting with co-workers.

On the other hand, a person with strong social skills may also be confident enough to raise issues and spearhead discord. Judging a candidate and verifying their previous work history is very important – you really don’t want a reenactment of ‘Mutiny on Board the BOUNTY’ at work!

Run social media checks to understand the candidate better

Check out your candidates across all social media platforms. Their attributes, comments and posts will definitely give you a more accurate insight into their personality and it may throw up a few surprises as well. Facebook, Instagram & Twitter will give you more information on a personal level, while LinkedIn will give you a better insight into their skills and experience – much more than an average resume.

The right candidate is definitely out there; but narrowing the search and zeroing in on the ‘right’ one is a complex and time-consuming process. Remember to follow due-process because attempting shortcuts may cost you dearly!

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