It’s no secret that employing someone new can be an expensive and time consuming exercise, which is why it’s important to hire the right person from the beginning. You want to be confident that the person you invest in is a good fit for your team, will have something to gain from the work and also be of value to you, however this is a difficult task if you don’t know what to look for in an applicant. To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your employees for the long-term, taking a clever approach to recruitment is key. Some may talk the talk in their interviews, but can they walk the walk?
Here are our tips to help you identify the right person for the job:
Understand the position
Regardless of industry, you will find a broad range of people with differing skill sets, but obviously not all of them are right for a position. What’s important to consider when identifying a strong candidate is how defined the job’s requirements are and how well you yourself understand what is required. For example, is this a contract or full-time role? If the position is contract, the candidate’s skill set is what’s most important. If they have the required skills and can commit to the position for the required time, consider asking them in for an interview. Full-time jobs, on the other hand, require the applicant to fit in well within the workplace culture. In this case, the best applicant may be someone who stands out as a great fit for the team and will make a positive contribution. You, as an employer will be able to get the most out of them and they will be able to get the most out of you. Both parties should benefit.
It is important to understand what are MUST-HAVE requirements as compared to LIKE-TO-HAVE requirements to ensure you have a baseline understanding of what qualities or experience are vital as compared to a wish list. This will also help you choose between closely matched candidates when it comes to decision time.
When looking at sales positions, look out for candidates who can not only identify opportunities and manage a pipeline effectively, but also those that are overachievers which can substantiate sales results with proof.
Candidates for Executive and Leadership positions should be able to articulate their methods for gaining the most out of their staff and should be able to demonstrate where they have helped under-performing teams or individuals turn the corner.
Treating the first interview as a friendly chat will help relax the applicant, giving you a better idea of what they’re like and whether they will be a good fit for your company. Use this time to get to know the applicant and understand what makes them tick. Gauge whether they play to the strengths of your team. Remember, you can’t teach motivation, but you can teach everything else. Behavioral-based questions can come later.
Look further afield
It’s not guaranteed that the best person for the job will come to you. The best recruits usually aren’t those actively seeking work. They’re the people who have achieved a high level of success in their current jobs and are satisfied where they are, not realizing that there are greater opportunities out there, which offer healthy challenges and career progression. The best candidates tend to be at the top of their game as they are tenacious and opportunistic in character! It is for this reason that most often these candidates need to be proactively targeted and ‘sold’ the opportunity to gain their interest.
Resources like LinkedIn offer the opportunity to ‘hand pick’ from the best talent out there. This is often the first place recruiters will go to seek out potential candidates. Detailed work histories make it easy to quickly identify whether a person has the technical skills required for a position and can also give an idea of whether they might be looking for the next challenge. Bare in mind that tenure in role can often be industry-dependent. People working in the IT industry for example generally change jobs every couple of years due to the speed at which technology becomes obsolete and the desire to be part of the latest and most innovative company and solution.
Be sure that you and the candidate want the same things
Identify your expectations of what the role is. In order for a working relationship to be successful, you and the potential candidate should be on the same page when it comes to game changers like career progression opportunities, money, company culture and work life balance. Recognize what motivates the applicant, where their interest in the position stems from and be sure it aligns with the company’s expectations. This will minimize the chance of mismanaged expectations and the need to deal with an unsatisfied employee later on.