The saying “you’re only as good as the company you keep” rings true for any organisation. After all, every company is constantly on the lookout for the best and most talented. But how do you know the candidate is right for the job? How do you know the candidate will fit into the company and shares the same values? Is there a way to find said candidate quickly and efficiently?
First things first, Understand your needs
Before starting to look out for the right candidate, it’s important to understand your needs. What do you need the candidate to achieve? What are the success parameters that you can set? Are there any specific skills a candidate should have that are necessary or knowledge that would be helpful? By clearly stating what the job entails and what qualities you are looking for in an ideal candidate, you’ll receive applications from candidates who are fit for the job. According to Lever, a US-based company that deals in recruitment software, 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, but only 36% of candidates say the same. Writing a comprehensible job description can be tedious, but the results will be rewarding. By clearly defining the position and summarizing the key responsibilities and skills required, you will have a benchmark to assess candidates who apply and ensure the right candidates get engaged and apply.
Here are some important tips on writing a perfect job description:
- Include the job title: You should mention the department the candidate would be working in as well as their position in the company. An example would be ‘Marketing Coordinator’.
- Include the job location as well as whether the job would require remote or in-person working.
- Include a description of the company: Who are you? What do you sell? Who are the customers you cater to? This section will give the candidate an idea on the values you are looking for as well as the culture of the company.
- An overview of the role: This will give candidates an idea on the team they would be working with, who they would be reporting to and the position’s responsibilities and objectives. This will also allow candidates to see how their career could progress in the company – which is important.
- Detailed description of the job responsibilities: This should include day-to-day responsibilities as well as long-term objectives. The wording of this section is vital as candidates will use this section to understand their success parameters and view if they have the skills and knowledge to succeed.
- Qualifications required for the job: This should include any degree, years of experience and specific skills. Skills which can be learned on the job should be avoided.
Getting the job out there
You’ve now got the perfect job description ironed out. The next step is deciding how to get it out there. One prospect is posting it on job websites, which will give your job opening a large visibility. The disadvantage of this however, is that the hiring manager will have to go through hundreds of CVs.
Another way to gain visibility is posting the job on your company website and using the appropriate social media channels to advertise the opening (such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram). To ensure you get the most of your social media channels, the content you post should be credible and reflect your company culture to ensure the right candidates apply. To ensure this technique works, you would need to ensure the right candidates are following your social handles and the posts are targeted.
Posting through an agency can also be an advantage, where you can expect the right candidates to be sent through without having to go through the CVs. However, the cost of using an agency can be high, especially for smaller businesses.
Psychometric tests are another method used to evaluate a candidate’s personality, knowledge and skills, among others. There are plenty of psychometric tests available for use. These types of tests are recommended as they are time efficient and shine a light on the candidate, showcasing their strengths and weaknesses, which will help ensure the right candidate proceeds.
Forbes suggests conducting “pre-employment tests” which can include personality tests or a job knowledge test (depending on the role) to assess a candidate’s “hard skills” (which would include any technical skills) and using video interviews to assess their soft skills (such as their communication, stress management skills).
A candidate’s CV provides an insight into their experiences and skills, but what about their personality? This is where interviews come in. Many companies prefer having an initial phone or video interview before meeting the candidate for a face-to-face interview.
Video interviews are a relatively new phenomenon and are typically done before a face-to-face interview. This can provide multiple benefits including judging a candidate’s body language while allowing employees and the candidate to be safe.
Conducting a phone interview before inviting a candidate for a face-to-face interview can also have many advantages. This type of interview does not take up much time, and a hiring manager can judge a candidate fairly quickly. This saves valuable time for the hiring managers.
The face-to-face interviews involve inviting the candidate to the site to get a feel of the candidate. The best way to assess a candidate is to ensure you’re asking the right questions. This would also help determine the cultural fit and the candidate’s behaviour and personality.
The questions you should ask depends on the role and the company. Technical jobs should require some technical questions to be asked. Behavioural questions, such as how a candidate handles stress should also be asked.
Some examples of questions that should be asked:
- Tell me about a time where you had to handle multiple projects with a tight deadline. What did you do? This type of questions gets to how the candidate organizes themselves and how they manage time.
- Tell me about a time you disagreed with someone. This question is aimed at understanding how a candidate handles conflict.
- Why do you think you are right for the role? To understand the candidate’s idea of why they think they are the person for the job will give an insight into their ambitions and where they see their career path.
- Tell me about a time you failed. This question speaks to the candidate’s personality, how they handle a setback will help you identify the right candidate for the role.
Finding the right process for you
Unfortunately, every job and every company is different and there is no one effective hiring process. Each company adopts the general hiring process and changes it based on the company and capabilities. A basic process of scouting CVs, and conducting interviews should form the core structure of your hiring process. Additional steps such as psychometric tests and video interviews are recommended to completely assess the candidates’ capabilities. By working out your budget for recruitment and mapping out the average takes for recruiting a candidate, you can identify potential areas of improvement in your process.
Speeding up the process
Just as there is no perfect process for every company, there is no quick step success route to speeding up the process. You need to identify the delays in the process. Are you asking for references and evaluating them after the interview? Perhaps references could be asked for upfront along with a CV. Are you conducting a video and a phone interview and then a face-to-face interview? Cut down to just one virtual interview before the face-to-face? Are you getting drowned in the number of CV’s you receive? Ask candidates to perform personality or other psychometric tests and compare their responses with responses you expect, and then call those for the interview.
By embracing and investing in technologies, you could cut down your hiring process, while still attracting and securing highly qualified, talented candidates.
Lou Adler, CEO of Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems, states that a company doesn’t have to compromise on quality, speed or cost of hiring a candidate. He recommends a 40-40-20 programme to increase speed, 40% of your time is spent getting referrals, 40% on directly sourcing candidates and 20% on writing compelling messages that are pushed to your target audience.
Another option that could be considered to hire the right talent quickly which is commonly overlooked is promotion from within. This option provides you with a candidate you know has the right skill set and fits the company culture, and is a great way to ensure low employee turnover. This however, would depend on the role, as there are some roles where an outside perspective could be of more value.
The recruitment process can be long and tedious for both candidates and the hiring managers. Finding the right recruitment process for you will ensure the best candidate gets recruited. Creating a perfect job description is the first step to ensure the right candidates are applying to your company. Conducting a video interview or phone interview in addition to a psychometric test will ensure a candidate’s behaviour and technical skills are tested before being called for a face-to-face interview. Mapping out your recruitment process and using technology where possible can greatly increase your recruitment speed, while still ensuring the right talent is hired.