Sifting through applications, interviewing candidates, and making a suitable selection can all feel daunting for new managers. But anything new can be intimidating the first few times you try it, especially when your decision can affect the entire business. As you learn the ropes and become more confident in your ability to choose the right people though, things should definitely become easier.
So, how can managers properly prepare themselves to find the candidate with the correct skills, experience, and enthusiasm when a position on their team becomes available?
Why is it important to hire the right people?
Hiring the right candidate can have a positive impact on the business and your team for a number of different reasons.
A new hire can bring in new perspectives, providing fresh ideas and innovation to both the role and the business. It may be that they streamline a certain process or improve the team’s overall productivity – two things which can both boost morale and lessen the strain of current employees’ workloads too. And when the right employee shares the business’ values, attitudes and goals, the more they’ll want to grow alongside the company, all of which has a huge effect on helping to lower the company turnover rate.
Getting selection and hiring right
First off, it’s important to remember that we can’t always get selection and hiring completely spot on every single time. Sometimes a candidate might seem like they have all the right skills and experience, and appear to be a great cultural fit on paper, but things might just not work out. There’s no foolproof method for nailing the process, unfortunately.
But that doesn’t mean that managers can’t use different techniques and methods to improve the selection and hiring process for their team. By having the right approaches to finding the right employee, you can save your company vast amounts of money and time while boosting productivity, collaboration, and communication.
Selection and hiring should take a range of factors into account, including the potential of a candidate and how well you think they’ll fit into the company. Arguably, these two factors are some of the most important, so by getting them right over the course of the process might just be the secret to hiring the perfect candidate.
Tips for the sifting and interviewing process
Looking for advice on getting through the sifting and interviewing process smoothly? Here are some of our top tips…
Use a range of recruitment techniques
Changing up the approaches you use during the recruitment process can help you hire the right person.
The recruitment process often starts with listing the vacancy, and even this can make a huge difference.
For example, it might be beneficial to list your opening on social media like LinkedIn if the position calls for somebody with specific experience and skills. Social media has paved the way for easily shareable recruitment drives, ones which are more likely to reach the right people than ever before. With that said, as effective as social media has proven to be, you shouldn’t discount things like job boards and careers pages either. When you’re aiming to hire the right candidate, be sure to ask your recruiter to look at relevant job boards and company careers pages. By doing this, you’ll be able to cast your reach further and attract more candidates to your openings.
If candidates that best fit your requirements are more likely to see the job posting in the first instance, then you’re more likely to attract the right applicants. As a result, you can spend less time sifting through applications where candidates might not meet the specification of the role.
Increase the number of interviews
The more times you get to meet a potential candidate before deciding who to hire, the better.
Why is this the case? It’s simple: by increasing the amount of interactions you have, the easier it should be to gauge the candidate’s character, while also providing you with a greater understanding of their skills and experience too.
For example, you might conduct a pre-screening interview over the phone before asking a candidate to come in for a face-to-face interview. This way, you can save on resources if you decide a candidate wouldn’t be a good fit simply from the initial contact.
Multiple interview stages can also be a great opportunity to see how a candidate acts around different employees in the company. If they’re polite, curious to learn about others and understand the level of formality needed at each stage, then they’re likely to be a good cultural fit in most cases.
With that said, it’s worth stressing that we don’t mean holding ten interviews for a single candidate. Anything more than, say, three interactions will most likely deter them from pursuing the opportunity any further.
Test your candidates
One of the best ways to ensure somebody can do the job they’re applying for is to test them based on the skills they’ll need.
Whether you have them talk through the qualifications needed for the role or ask them to perform a task such as a presentation or work through a problem that’s relevant to their role’s area – you’ll be able to understand a few key insights into the way they work.
For example, they may not be confident using the software that your company uses, but they have extensive knowledge of something similar. From this, you’ll know that they’ll have a solid foundation of knowledge and that they’ll be willing to switch to your software if need be.
Testing your candidates with an element of the job role, such as carrying out a presentation or a mock problem for them to solve, will also allow you to see how they compare to other applicants, find out where their skills are and how well they can work to deadlines – key things that should serve them well if you decide to hire them.
Evaluate and adjust your recruitment process accordingly
As a manager, you’ll likely need to repeat this process at least a few times throughout your career.
And while the candidates should be putting their best self forward and improving their interview techniques each time, you should also be doing the same by amending your recruitment process where necessary each time.
After each recruitment drive for your team, you should create a framework for evaluating efficiency and effectiveness. Of course, you might need to wait a few months to see how each new hire progresses over time – it wouldn’t be fair to judge their performance prematurely of course.
But once you’ve identified a reasonable timeframe, you can decide whether you believe your hire was a successful one, and make the necessary changes to your hiring process should you need to.
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