Finding the right candidate is hard, and even if you follow all the steps there is no way of guaranteeing that a new employee will work out – only time will tell you that. Not everyone you choose will be a perfect fit, but there are a number of things you can do to give yourself the best chance.
The perfect candidate
Who is your perfect candidate? If you know the answer, then you have a much better chance of finding them. What skills and experience do they need to do the job well and what personality traits will ensure they fit in with your team? Writing a detailed job description that includes essential and desirable traits will help to persuade the right people to apply and also dissuade the wrong people. Write it down or produce a set of criteria that will ensure you keep your perfect candidate in your mind during the whole process.
Read between the lines
You may not be able to trust everything you read on a CV or job application but they can reveal a lot about your candidates. They should be well thought out and present candidates in the best light, so an application full of errors may highlight a lack attention to detail or someone who maybe doesn’t take as much pride in their work as they should. If writing and fine details are important to the role, perhaps they are not the person for you. Using a CMS system like e-Talent, where all information is inputted into the system, can be very helpful in moving away from CV’s and allowing you to see everyone’s information in the same format.
One of the best ways of finding out if a candidate can do the job is to ask them to do it. Give them a test or a problem to solve to see how they do, but make it something relevant to the role. Not everyone will shine the first time you meet them, nerves can get in the way, but ask them to do something they are good at and comfortable with and you may get a different perspective. The challenge you choose will be different for every role, but don’t be shy. It may seem like you are making candidates jump through hoops, but if they really want the job they will work for it.
It maybe your decision who to hire, but consider – do you do the job yourself and will you be working closely with the new candidate? Involving others in the recruitment process, and in particular, those who will be managing and working with your new employee, can provide new perspectives and bring your attention to positive or negative points that you would have otherwise overlooked.
Don’t just limit your involvement to particular staff members though. Seeking feedback from others in the company that had contact with candidates can be an eye-opener. For example, were they polite to the receptionist that answered the phone when they called, or the person that met them at the door? Or, were they only out to impress the people they thought were important? Character and how candidates present themselves in all situations is important, not just in interviews when they are on their best behaviour.
Ask the right questions
Structured interviews are great as they stop you going off track and asking every candidate the same questions allows for easy comparison, but make sure you are asking the right questions. What is it you actually want to know? This follows on from the first point – know what you want. Ask questions that test the skills, knowledge and character required. Psychometric and behavioural testing can also help you to gain insight into a candidate’s character and determine how well they will fit in with your way of working.
Go for coffee
Having sat through the interview you know how your candidate acts in a business environment, but not how they act in real life. Meeting for a second time and in a more relaxed setting, such as for coffee or a walk, can bring out a new side. You may find that when not thinking of something as an interview they present themselves differently. Consider how they act and whether they are dressed appropriately and polite to others. Also, are they interesting to talk with and could you see yourself working with and managing them at work?
Consider their questions
Some people love to ask questions whilst others are better at finding things out for themselves. Observing your candidates throughout the recruitment process and paying attention to the questions they ask could reveal important character traits. A candidate that asks lots of unnecessary questions may require more management and hand-holding than the candidate that asks a few, well thought-out questions.
Using a system like e-Talent, which psychometrically tests all candidates for the personality and behavioural traits best suited to the job role, and also sets qualification questions to eliminate any candidate who fails to meet minimum criteria, can be very helpful in determining the best candidate for the job. While you still need to interview, you can be much more confident that you’re interviewing the right people from your candidate pool.
Get in touch with e-Talent today to find out more.