10 Tips For Choosing the Best Candidate For Your Business
It’s a constant struggle for hiring managers: Choosing the right candidate for the job.
On one hand, you have a candidate who looks great on paper with all the relevant skills. On the other, you have another candidate who is just as qualified and expertly nailed all the interview questions. It may seem like the second individual is the obvious choice but it’s not always that simple.
The possibility of hiring the wrong candidate is always a cause for concern. Even someone with all the necessary qualifications may turn out to be a poor fit for the rest of the team. You spend all that time training them only to have to find another candidate – both of which cost the company more money.
A key finding of a survey from GetApp found that the shortage of skilled candidates and the hiring process were two of the biggest challenges for recruiters:
Simply posting on job boards may have been sufficient for companies to find candidates. But as the workforce grows more competitive, recruiters need to have a well thought out strategy in place to find skilled candidates to avoid costly hires.
Here we’ll look at how to narrow down a list of potential candidates and choose the one that is most qualified for your business.
1. Develop a Strong Job Description
Job descriptions are a valuable tool in the hiring process.
Start by clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities that candidates are expected to perform. If the job requires any particular skills or certifications, be sure to list them out. Engage your current employees to assist in defining the tasks and qualifications that are relevant to the job. The more information you have the easier it will be to write a job description.
2. Review and Prescreen Applicants
Employers are often inundated with hundreds, even thousands of applications for new openings. It’s simply not practical to interview every single candidate.
Prescreen all applicants against the list of qualifications and skills from your job description to narrow down candidates. You can take it another step further by conducting quick telephone prescreening interviews to clarify certain details about their qualifications.
3. Use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Sorting through applications can be an incredibly time-consuming process. For that reason, alone employers frequently use applicant tracking systems (ATS) such as JobAdder.
They provide an automated way for employers to keep track of resumes in one place and easily filter applicants based on certain qualifications. Consider using an ATS in your hiring process to find the best candidates.
4. Ask the Right Interview Questions
Interviews are a key tool in the hiring process. They help you evaluate potential candidates’ work experience and ability to perform certain responsibilities. A personal meeting can also reveal personality traits and other characteristics that aren’t apparent on a resume.
Depending on the industry of your business, the types of interview questions you ask your candidates may differ. For example, law firms place a larger emphasis on the cultural fit of the candidate, and so may ask questions such as
- Why did you choose Law as your career?
- What are your strengths/ weaknesses?
- Why are you interested in working in our firm?
On the other hand, in some IT-related jobs, the interviews may consist of more technical questions, which judges the candidate's ability to carry out the technical responsibilities of the job position. Some examples of technical interview questions include:
- What are the software tools you are confident in using?
- In what situations would you recommend on-site or cloud-based services?
- Can you explain what ETL refers to?
5. Give Applicants a Problem to Solve
Interview questions are a great way to identify desirable candidates. But an even better approach is to present an actual problem that potential employees are likely to face.
For example, if your company is hiring editors then you could have applicants review and make suggestions to a flawed document. Or if you’re looking for programmers skilled in a specific language, you could have the applicant write code to solve a simple problem. The point of this step is to ensure that candidates have the skills to perform their new responsibilities.
6. Contact References
When applying for jobs it’s common for applicants to include a list of references. These might include past employers, supervisors, colleagues, and family members.
For candidates who are in serious contention for the job, contact each reference and ask about their work performance. To streamline the process you’ll want to prepare a list of questions that allow you to better evaluate potential employees. Think about what matters most to your company and use that as a guide for your questions.
7. Run a Social Background Check
A report published by The Next Web reveals there are now over 3 billion active users on social media – That’s nearly over 40% of the world’s population! There’s a good chance that your candidates have a presence on one of the major social platforms. Search new candidates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn to gather more insight about a potential hire.
8. Implement Employee Referral Programs
Current employees are often one of the best sources for filling new positions. According to the same GetApp surveyed as referenced earlier, employee referrals not only take the shortest time to hire but also bring the highest quality job applicants.
Setup and implement an employee referral program to attract more talent to your company. Establish clear rules for how your program works and offer an incentive to reward your employees for helping you find a qualified candidate.
9. Work With a Recruitment Agency
Don’t have the time to sift through resumes? Another option to streamline the hiring process is to work with a recruitment agency to help with your staffing needs. Employment agencies are responsible for finding qualified candidates to fill a wide range of positions. Simply provide a detailed description of the job opening and the agency will get to work on finding a suitable hire based on your requirements.
10. Offer Paid Trial Periods
You’ve narrowed down your list to a few potential candidates but you still can’t make a decision. One way to mitigate your risk is to offer a paid trial period which can last a few weeks or longer. A trial will give you a much better idea if the candidate is right for the position. If the candidate doesn’t work out then simply move onto the next candidate. Be sure to clearly state how long the trial period will last and how much the individual can expect.
Hiring a new employee requires a great deal of time and effort. Implement these tips to streamline the process and find the best candidate for your business.
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