Selecting the right candidate is important because they can help take your business to new heights of success. A good hire can help increase the performance of the organization, driving business growth and profit. They easily blend in with any job role provided to them and influence those around them with their exemplary professionalism. A dedicated and hardworking employee also helps reduce the workload on the part of other employees. They are a real asset to the company and a blessing to employers as they have less to worry about and stress about.
While the right candidate can be a precious gem to an organization, hunting down one can take a while. A lot depends on your hiring process. Not every organization is aware of the criteria for selecting a job candidate, which is one of the major reasons why hiring an ideal employee can take some time.
If you’re struggling to make a great hire, don’t worry. Here we’ve listed down our top tips that will help you hire the perfect candidate for your next open position!
1. Analyze the Candidate’s Resume
While a resume may not give you much insight into the candidate’s actual potential and traits, it’s still important for understanding their skills, experiences, and education. A resume also reflects a candidate’s awards, achievements, and goals, which can further help you decide whether or not the candidate is worth interviewing.
A few things that an employer should look for in a resume when selecting candidates are:
· Skills, Education, and Experience Match
The first thing an employer should consider is how relevant the candidate is for the job position. This can be determined by reviewing their skills, education, and experience. See if their acquired qualifications match the job requirements.
Sometimes, you may come across candidates that are perfect for the job, but they may lack experience or level of expertise. If you think that the job role can be performed with little or no experience, give the candidate a chance. Many applicants are smart and quick learners. Some may even contribute to a company’s success and growth with their vigor and new, innovative ideas. So, never underestimate ill-equipped candidates. Call them for an initial interview; if you see potential in them for the said position, you know what you have to do!
· Correct Spellings and Grammar
Candidates that may make spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in their resumes should be given a second thought, especially if the job position is of a teacher, tutor, librarian, salesperson, marketer, or copywriter. Errors like these are unacceptable. It goes to show the incompetency and ignorance of the applicant, and you should not overlook such follies.
· Check the Readability Level
Does the resume entice you to meet the candidate? If yes, call them for an interview. If you’re wondering what a readable resume looks like. Remember that a readable resume is the one that includes the applicant’s name, current job title/company, previous jobs (start and end dates), education, etc.
The writing style should be simple, precise, and clear, of course. It shouldn’t be too long or filled with fluff.
· Hard Facts VS Fluff Facts
Remember that a great candidate will back up their assertions with solid proof such as “increased sales by 30%” or “increased 50% ROI,” etc. This proves that the applicant possesses serious merits and should be considered seriously for the position.
These candidates stand apart from the ones that merely speak about their contributions without backing with real facts such as “pitched new ideas and drafted modern projects” or “improved sales and enhanced growth and profit,” etc.
· Be Mindful of Red Flags
If you see a candidate who hasn’t mentioned the timeframe within which they worked at each company, you should not ignore it. It can be a warning sign that the candidate was laid off or fired at some point in their career.
Also, some applicants write at the end of their resumes that “references upon request.” This is another suspicious line that indicates something is fishy.
2. Make Your Hiring Process Efficient
What’s your hiring process like? Have you pondered over it? If not, you should. Make sure that your hiring process is modern and up-to-date. If there is a lag in the process, you should identify why that is so and try to fix it as soon as you can. Plus, you should also assess the members of your hiring committee. Are these people qualified enough? Do they have the talent or necessary skills to choose the right applicant for the job?
Make sure each member of the team is fast and proficient so that the hiring doesn’t take long. Making your applicants wait for a few days is fine. If it’s a lucrative job, the chances are that candidates may even wait for a week or two, at max. However, if the hiring process is slow and trying, you may miss out on some of the best applicants.
3. Ask More than Just Standard Questions
Once you’ve shortlisted your applicants, you may as well want to interview them. Our advice is to ask more than just traditional questions (tell me about yourself, how did you find out about this company, tell me about your previous work experiences, etc.). The problem is that these questions are so common that most candidates are already aware of them, and they usually come with a well-prepared answer. The downside is that you don’t really get to assess the true potential or capability of the applicant. So, try to move beyond the standard interview questions and ask something more worthwhile as follows:
· Why Do You Want to Work Here?
When you ask this question, focus on the details that the applicant gives about your company. This will show how much research they have already done. A candidate that is excited and interested to work for you will definitely talk about the nature of your brand or the ideology of your company and will draw parallels between your organization and their career goals. A candidate may also talk about their skills and traits and how your company can benefit from them – this will show how confident and purposeful the applicant is!
· What Made You Want to Apply for this Job?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a candidate. This question proves how well the applicant read and understood the job description. This question will also allow them to talk about their qualities and traits and how they are a perfect fit for the role.
The best candidate will touch upon not only the skills they already possess, but they will also talk about the skills they want to develop or improve by working in your organization.
· What Are Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?
You can easily deduce the level of self-awareness the candidate possesses when they talk about their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it’s a great question to ask. It also helps you learn a lot about the candidate and conclude their suitability for the job position.
First of all, you can infer whether the applicant’s weaknesses can conflict with the job role or hinder their ability to shine in the position. You can also test if the candidate is doing anything to deal with their shortcomings.
· Tell Me About a Difficult Situation You Faced at Work. How Did You Handle It?
This is a question that you can throw at someone who is equipped with some work experience. You can also ask this question to those candidates that possess only internship experience. That being said, internees hardly face any tough work situation like official employees. So, this question is more apt for experienced candidates.
This question allows applicants to speak about how they typically tackle high-stress situations. Good candidates will talk about their problem-solving skills, how they managed their stress, and the tactics they employed to deal with the difficult situation. Pay close attention to what they say and how they say.
· Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Employer?
When you ask this question, pay extra attention to how the applicant speaks about their previous job. Are they bashing their former employer? Or are they talking about their positive aspects by focusing on their hope to seek better opportunities and career growth?
A professional and trustworthy candidate will never speak ill of their former company or job. It’s also a sign of civility and professionalism, which are instrumental in any job role.
4. Give them a Problem to Solve or a Project to Complete
This is a great practical way to check how good the applicant is for the job role. What you will need to do is present the candidate with a problem that they may likely face in their role. Ask them how they would respond or tackle it. You can ask this during an interview or have a prior test to check their capability.
Set a time limit within which they will have to compose their answer. If you want them to perform an activity that they will most likely to as part of their job, then think of a job audition in advance. For example, for an applicant for a sales executive position, you can ask them to deliver a sales pitch or convince you to buy a product.
5. Get Feedback from HR or People that Applicants May Meet Prior or Post the Interview
Ask a team member to interact with the candidate. Make sure you tell them that you’ll be getting feedback from them, but don’t let the candidate know about this. Some great ways to go about it are:
- Ask an employer that isn’t part of the interview panel to give the applicant a tour of the office.
- Ask a team member to greet the candidate in the reception area and usher them to the interview room.
- Ask an employer to have a friendly chat with the candidate and see what they talk about.
6. Pay Attention to Applicants’ Questions
Once you have ticked the necessary questions off your list, make sure you ask the candidate if they have anything to inquire about. The applicant’s questions tend to provide more insight than the interview itself.
See if they have researched your brand before coming to the interview? Consider those people that show genuine interest and curiosity in your company – how it works, manages its staff, etc.
7. Take Your Time
Last but not least, never rush the hiring procedure. Sometimes, there is a sense of real urgency for a key position, and employers tend to speed up the hiring process. What usually entails is the termination of the candidate after only working for a couple of days or weeks.
The pressure to get an employee in fast can get the better of you, and you may fail to hire the right employee for the job. Therefore, you should go through each hiring step meticulously and take your time to come to a decision.
Finding a suitable employee for your organization is a task that should not be taken lightly. You should always have the best hiring team that can assist you in choosing the best candidate. Fortunately, with the help of the aforementioned tips, we’re sure you will be able to draw in skilled and efficient personnel in no time!