Recruitment is an exciting opportunity to add new skills and diversify your team; however it can be daunting to fill a critical role. Recruitment is challenging and mistakes can be made if your process isn’t targeted to attract the right people or managed well enough to engage them. Here are our five recruitment tips to help you find the right candidate.
You need to build a profile of your new team member, what do we want them to be able to do? What personality would enhance the team that already exists? What skills must they have and what skills can you train if they don’t already possess them? Having an idea of who you are looking for will help you find them!
It can be difficult to attract the right candidates if your advertisement is too vague and doesn’t speak to the people you need. Include information about the company, what qualities you desire, what skills are essential along with the job description and what training is available for the right candidate. It is best to receive quality over quantity; people reading your advertisement will be able to self evaluate themselves against the criteria, requesting a covering letter gives each individual the opportunity to express why they are suitable for the role.
You can begin identifying good candidates based on the quality of their CVs and covering letters, looking at previous experience, qualifications and their reason for applying. You can immediately thank and close applications from those who do not meet your profile or justify their application in a covering letter. Make notes on applications which interest you, they may have skill gaps however good work ethic or attitude shines through, on the other end of the scale there may be great candidate’s who tick every box but their application isn’t engaging.
Pre interview assessment
A telephone interview is a great way to identify the candidates you should meet, it’s a chance to validate details on CVs, address anything you noted when making the shortlist and make a sound decision whether to offer an interview or give feedback as to why you feel interviewing is not required.
Keeping clear notes about the discussion and responses will help the interviewer prepare and reduce repetition of information already discussed so the focus is on discussing suitability for the role rather than validating application paperwork.
Before offering to book an interview we find it is good practice to check for any issues which may cause the candidate to decline a job offer if they are successful. A simple checklist to confirm working days and hours, long term travel arrangements, distance and salary expectation are understood and acceptable for the candidate. If any of these are a problem for the candidate and there is no negotiation or solution to overcome the barrier, there is little point in wasting your time or theirs.
An interview is a discussion to engage and identify if there is potential of a good employer and employee partnership. An example of a poor interview would be where the interviewer has relished in a good grilling session, completely missing the opportunity to find out about the candidates skills, experience and attitude. If candidates exit the recruitment process or avoid job offers, it may be because of the interview process they were put through. Relaxed, friendly conversations allow candidates to share their personality; they express themselves openly and honestly so a genuine relationship is established thus enabling us to mutually decide whether it will be a good working relationship.
Compose experience questions based on your recruitment profile which will help an individual express what they have done before, their understanding and what training might be required if a job offer is made. If your business is high pressure and focused on targets its best to explain this and use question funnelling to get to how the individual feels and manages the topic you are questioning. Here are a series of funnel questions which help:
These questions will give you much more information about the person’s actual experience, rather than just asking a theoretical question which is likely to attract an answer the candidate thinks you want to hear. Be flexible too, when a candidate is unable to give a work example, help them overcome this by suggesting out of work pressure such as leisure or personal activities where they may have applied the attitude, skills and/or knowledge you are looking for. Experience based questions allow you to note key points and can be graded to fairly compare candidates on a score basis.
You may also feel it necessary to assess and grade specific skills to measure against profiling by asking candidates to complete a short assessment on arrival before their interview. Assessments can cover mathematics, English and even simple exercises related to your work or industry, however we recommend trialling them to ensure they can be completed comfortably within 15 to 30 minutes by different levels of experience. Lengthy, complex or very hard assessments can lose a good candidate.
Choosing the right candidate
When concluding the interview it’s good to ask candidates about their present position to establish if they are in multiple recruitment processes and how they feel about your vacancy to assess if a job offer will be received well.
Following the interview, once the successful candidate has been contacted and employment agreed it’s worth speaking with the other interviewees who attended to give them feedback. This is a great opportunity to keep a relationship with the candidates who you may wish to keep on file for consideration for future vacancies.
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