Recruiting for the first time. Where should I start?

Did you know, people in the recruitment business may have as much luck in finding the perfect partner as they may in finding the perfect candidate! If you’re testing the waters in the dating pool or the recruiting game, you should know how to weed out the misfits and zero in on the one that ticks the boxes on all counts, give or take a few aspects that can tweaked to fit!

We leave match-making on a personal level to you; here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re a novice on the hunt for a candidate in a professional space.

Take your time with the recruiting process  

If you’re new to recruitment, make sure you’re not jumping the gun on a hire just to get a conversion or to meet a target – these are generally the shortcomings of a novice. There should be no rush in recruiting; take your time and your search will be rewarded. It’s better than making a hasty choice and being saddled with the wrong candidate.

In the larger scheme of things a ‘bad hire’ can result in wastage of time and resources, and in some cases, even disruption of team morale and harmony! Conduct a second round of interviews with the shortlisted candidates to help you make a more informed decision or maybe ask for the input of a senior if you’re in two minds about anything. It’s all about making the ‘right hire’ and not a ‘quick hire’, as the latter has far-reaching consequences!

Have clarity on the job description

Before starting the interview process, you should have a detailed understanding on the roles and responsibilities to be handled by the potential candidate. All the details should be made clear in the ad or post that you issue to publicise the opening, so only the right candidates apply.

Time is valuable to both you and the candidate, so do what it takes to ensure that you don’t have to waste your time sifting through resumes of unsuitable candidates.

The perfect candidate on paper is not always the perfect fit

A candidate that looks perfect on paper with the best scores and resumes may not always fit right into the scheme of things at your workplace. A test to judge their ‘hands-on-skills’ will be a better yardstick to measure the proficiency of candidates and will help in weeding out the unsuitable ones.

There are many qualities that are required of a potential candidate – being a team player, creative ‘out-of-the-box thinking’ to solve problems, versatility, pro-activeness etc. These are non-quantifiable qualities that are essential to many roles. Someone with a ‘do as you’re told’ mentality will get you nowhere, and this is something that has to be judged during the interview process.

If you feel that you don’t have the experience to make that judgement call, you should have a senior sit in with you during the interview.

Keep in mind the industry standard pay

In this competitive world, there is always a demand for good workers and people are ready to shell out the big bucks for them. If you’re compromising on salaries, you cannot expect to get candidates of a higher calibre. But you also have to learn to keep the company budget in mind and the maximum you can stretch to land the right candidate for the right role.

So do some research beforehand, compare industry standards for salaries for the type of job you have advertised and keep your higher-ups informed. After all, it is their call whether they want to meet those standards or exceed them!

Go out of your way and build a candidate pool

The best place for potential candidates are colleges, where batch after batch, enthusiastic freshers are on the lookout for suitable career opportunities. These students are very keen on applying what they’ve learnt, developing their skills and gaining some relevant experience and will probably be open to taking up jobs at lower salaries.

You could also keep track of potential candidates with the right skills on LinkedIn and other job sites so you can approach them later with the right offers and perks.

Apart from these tried and tested avenues of recruitment, you could run a parallel quest with the help of your friends (those known to have sound judgement)! Tell them about the opportunity at hand and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for a candidate who could meet your requirements. This could also save you a lot of time, money and energy in the process of recruiting, making everyone happy!

Check the legality of the candidate

In your eagerness to hire a candidate, do not forget to do all the background checks required. Candidates are known to charm novice recruiters with their picture-perfect appearance and demeanour. So, don’t fall for the suave smooth-talker; it’s always best to verify all the statements made by the candidate during the interview.

Go back to basics, call their sources, references and check them out on social media. If the candidate’s origin is from another country, then it’s also wise to check whether they have all the right official documentation in place, as the employer will also be held liable if they don’t!    

On a parting note, read up on what one of the best recruiters in the field had to say:  

“I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1.Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

– Steve Jobs

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