How to find the perfect candidate before you begin the interviewing process

How to find the perfect candidate before you begin the interviewing process

2012/11/19 by Marya –

Some people are great at interviews.

They are confident, immaculately dressed and very interested in working for your company. They give you all the right answers, wow you with their strengths and skill set and blow you away with their references.

In other words, they do everything right.

But it turns out they might not be as good a fit for your company as you thought they would be. And that is an extremely frustrating finding. It is very aggravating to go through the whole process and end up with someone who is not a good match.

Still, there are some things that will affect the outcome of an interview BEFORE you actually reach that stage. They go beyond doing a review of a candidate’s skills, experience and qualification, checking references, pre-screening the candidates and selecting the right interview style.

If you nail them, chances are you won’t hire someone who is a mismatch. You can actually preserve your time and sanity during the hiring process – if you do your homework.

#1 Describe the job as best as you can

Develop a detailed job description. Cover things like the official job title, the department, work experience required and qualifications, and who does this person report to. Also, think about other requirements such as their willingness to travel, ability to put in overtime etc.

Don’t turn the job of writing a job description into a dull and boring activity. You can brainstorm with the people who will be working closely with the new employee and ask for their input.

Then don’t just advertise but ask people around you. Often you will find better candidates that way.

#2 Develop a list of critical skills

Hiring somebody for your company or organization is a bit like going on a date. You have a list of what you want from the candidate. However, some skills are deal breakers while some can be overlooked.

There are the non-negotiables which makes up the ability to carry out the role. These must be done and the absence of which will adversely impact the business. Most of this persons time will be spent with these Key accountabilities, and this is the reason the job exists. They must also be measurable.

Determine your key competencies before you interview.

And then there are the other skills that can be developed or taught. For instance, you need an employer to be proficient at using Excel, but consider the cost of finding that perfect person against hiring somebody who is a good fit, and rather training him instead. Don’t be too hung up on your criteria or you might miss out on some great talent. Keep your ‘must-have’ skills separate from ‘nice-to-have’.

#3 Benchmark the job

Benchmark the soft skills you are looking for and then use that information to fill in your position. This will eliminate bias and make the process that much more objective.

It is imperative that you think about hiring somebody who will fit within your organizational culture. If you are a progressive company, you need to assess whether the applicant likes to take risks for instance, if they are innovative in their approach, if they like to stay abreast of the current trends or can even spot them before anyone else can. Personality profiling will be a great help in finding that perfect candidate.

Know what you want from the candidate. And keep it real. Don’t ignore soft skills when you go looking.

You don’t have to screen hundreds of applicants. The first one could be the right one, in some cases. Yes, this can happen.

What is the most important thing is that you get your process right.

Think in terms of recruitment, rather than hiring. Meaning: you are always on the lookout for fresh blood and are open to moving things within the organization. This means training the new hires, reallocation, promotion and replacing people with new ones.

Get your process right; your organization’s growth and success depend on it.

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