Ten tips for hiring the right candidate for the job
The key to running a successful business is having the right people with the right skills in the right role. If you haven't done it before, hiring the right candidate for the job can seem intimidating. However, like any business process, once broken down into its component parts, is actually quite straightforward.
Looking beyond the resume or LinkedIn profile is key when looking for new talent. They only tell you so much and even then you have no idea how accurate they are. You need to go much further, which is why we put together these ten tips you can use for hiring the right candidate for the job.
1. Evidence of effort
Did the candidate send a personalised cover letter with their application or take the time to write supporting evidence? If they did, it's a good sign that they take the role seriously. If they did not, it can indicate laziness or lack of effort.
Many employers add something to the listing such as ‘add the code "Ireallyreadthelisting” to your application' to weed out those who are just spamming resumes.
2. Check social media
You would be amazed at how many candidates forget that whatever they say and do on social networks is there for all to see, including employers. It's always a good idea to check out social profiles when hiring the right candidate for the job as they can be quite telling.
3. Focus on accomplishments
We all have qualifications. Many of us have degrees, yet unless the role requires the specific degree, they say very little about the person. Focusing on the candidate's accomplishments instead will tell you a lot more about them. What have they achieved? Where have they shown determination? Team spirit? Where have they stood out?
4. Formulate the right questions
Asking open, interesting questions that make the candidate think will tell you a lot. Questions like ‘where do you want to be in ten years' time,' or ‘why do you work' require thought and can be quite illuminating.
5. Be prepared to answer questions too
Many recruiters forget that a job interview is a two-way process. The candidate is being interviewed but also needs to interview. They need to be confident you are right for them as well as the other way round. As well as going through your own questions, allow time and space for the candidate to ask theirs. Their questions can tell you as much as their answers.
6. Watch the body language
Only a small percentage of human communication is verbal. Watch the candidate's body language as you spend time with them. Watch for eye contact, fidgeting, looking away when asked questions, lip biting and so on. While candidates will be nervous, there are many ‘tells' which can teach you so much more.
For some positions, it's often useful to role play a typical situation in which the candidate will find themselves. If you're recruiting for front line support, have the candidate answer a mock phone call from an irate customer. If it's something skilled, have the candidate work with whatever it is they will be doing. These challenges will show how confidently they handle themselves in a given situation.
8. Consider team fit
While the candidate may have everything you're looking for on paper, it's essential to also assess their social skills. You need to see how they would cope with typical situations they might find themselves in. You also need to consider if they are a troublemaker, have a sense of entitlement and all those other socially destructive traits you want to avoid. Consider them when making your decision.
9. Follow the evidence
When presented with references and evidence of achievements, remember to follow them up. We can say anything at a job interview so it's important to check integrity before making the offer. Don't just ask about the quality of work or attendance, ask about their sense of humour or how others felt about the person. It's within the rules and can be quite informative.
10. Consider a trial run
While not all roles are conducive to trial or probation periods, they can be useful. Treat them like a well-paid internship and both you and your candidate get to try before you buy without any awkward legal implications.