11 Simple Steps To Hiring The Best Candidate For The Job
Hiring the right person for the job is fraught with challenges especially if you are new to the recruitment process. Many think they know how to recruit and wonder why the candidate doesn’t work out. Many fall into the trap of buying personality over substance and not following a robust recruitment process.
Firstly, it’s important to understand what a recruitment process is.
The recruitment process
A recruitment process is a specific set of steps for the purpose of finding and hiring a new employee. In larger companies, this process typically resides with Human Sources and in smaller companies it could be delegated to any number of people within an organization. In some cases, both with smaller and larger companies, the recruitment process may be outsourced to a third-party recruitment agency.
These are the typical steps in a robust recruitment process.
- Identify the hiring need
- Developing a job description
- Planning the recruitment process (internal or external or a combination of both)
- Searching for viable candidates (internally, job boards, external agencies etc)
- Identifying or short listing the ideal candidate
- Screen the candidates through telephone screening and or face-to-face interviews
- Selecting the top candidate/s
- Reference checking
- Making an offer of employment (your top candidate might not accept the offer so have a back-up plan)
- Hiring the candidate
- On-boarding the candidate
1. Identifying the need
A big mistake many businesses make is not correctly identifying the need.
A person resigns, and management immediately assumes that the position is still relevant. This is not always so. When someone resigns, it’s a great time to analyze if the needs of the business have changed since that person was employed.
As a business grows and changes happen within an industry, business needs change. Perhaps a current role is now redundant, and a new role needs to be created to fit the changing needs of the business. Or, perhaps the role needs to be expanded. Never assume it’s right to fill a vacant position moving forward. Always analyse the needs of the business before making the decision to recruit someone new.
2. Developing the job description
Once you have analysed the needs of the business, it’s time to either review and possibly change the job description. You may need to create a completely new job description.
It’s important to identify the essential qualifications, skills and experience required for the job as this will guide the selection process. It’s also advantageous to identify the key performance indicators (KPI’s) and build this into the job description. It gives you a basis to ask potential candidates the right questions in an interview.
3. Planning the recruitment process
Failing to plan the recruitment process could lead you with multiple challenges resulting in sub-standard applicants.
Once you have figured out the needs of the business, it’s time to plan who will be involved in the recruitment process. Will the process be handled in-house or contracted out to a third party recruitment firm or a combination of both?
If it is going to be handled in house, who will screen and interview the candidates? Will it be a single person or a panel of interviewers?
When contracting out to a third-party recruitment firm, its essential to find the right recruiter. Many recruitment firms hire people with no or little experience in business. Ask the questions, does the recruiter truly understand your culture, and the needs of the business?
In addition to planning who will be involved, also identify the time frame, where you will advertise and where you will conduct interviews.
4. Searching for ideal candidates
Identify where you will conduct your search for the ideal candidate.
If you use an external recruiter, they will conduct the search through their network of connections, database of potential candidates and most likely by advertising on job boards, the internet and possible local and regional newspapers.
You might also consider internal candidates. If you do, call for external candidates as well to compare and not marrow your search.
If you are advertising yourself, remember you are looking for applicants to reach out to you and provide you with a cover letter and resume, not to hire them. Your advertising should include the essential qualifications, skills and experience you are looking for.
5. Identifying and short listing the ideal candidates
This is a critical stage of the recruitment process and a trap inexperienced recruiter fall into. A candidate might have the perfect resume, but how do you know they even wrote it themselves. They could have gone to a professional resume writer. They could have copied someone else’s resume. You don’t know.
That’s why if you ask for examples to back up the experience on their resume by addressing the essential criteria as part of the application process, you gain more of an insight into the candidate and transferable skills.
Sometimes great candidates don’t know how to write an application which requires you to read between the lines on their resume. Analyse what a candidate is not saying in their application.
6. Screening the candidates
Many good candidates are equally tripped up before they even begin to submit their application for a job. Why? Because they fail to understand the hiring process. Many recruitment agencies and in-house recruiters use software to scan a candidate resume. If a candidate is not aware of this, they will not make the short list. Be aware, that using software to scan a resume to pick up key words could eliminate good candidates.
Once you have been through the applications, you will find certain candidates will stand out for you. Now is the time to screen which ones you really want to interview. There are a number of ways you can do this; over the telephone, via Skype or in a face-to-face interview. Sometimes you might use a combination of all three.
One of the most important things to remember in any screening process is relevance over personality. It’s easy to be charmed by a candidate without substance. Equally its easy to want to hire on qualifications and forget about cultural fit. It is a balancing act. In all cases, hiring someone with the right attitude is of paramount importance because you can always train for skills. You don’t want to end up with someone who has all the right skills and qualifications but has a lousy attitude.
7. Selecting the right candidate
Once you have short listed and conducted interviews, it’s time to rank the candidates. One way to do this is to give them a score out of 5 or 10 against your essential criteria. This really only works if you asked similar questions of all candidates. Here’s an example of a sample selection criteria for a services manager.
|Selection Criteria Scoresheet (see list below)|
- Minimum 5 years previous supervisory / management role in a hospitality or retail environment with responsibility for other staff.
- Proven contract management experience.
- Familiarity with the operation and the delivery of services.
- Proficiency in the use of computers including Microsoft Word, Excel and Project and data base management systems.
- Proven high quality written and verbal communication skills are essential as are negotiating skills.
- Ability to manage and direct staff and contractors in the operation of their duties.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with clients.
- Demonstrated ability to meet tight time-frames without compromising accuracy and customer service.
- Demonstrated initiative in problem solving and open to new ideas and can adjust and respond accordingly.
Everything to this point is a guide or indicator only. There is always that “X” factor and that lies in your gut feeling. I call it attitude and the ability to learn quickly.
Remember not every top candidate will accept the position therefore it’s important to select the top two candidates just in case.
8. Reference checking
When asking a candidate for referees, chances are they have spoken to previous managers who will be happy to provide a reference. How do you know how reliable the reference will be? Most candidates will not provide a reference of a previous manager who won’t support them.
What about a previous manager who doesn’t like the candidate and happy to see them get another job. Of course they are going to give a glowing reference to ensure they no longer report to them. There’s always the case of a genuine candidate who works for a psychopath and they don’t get on. That manager won’t give a glowing reference.
What do you do instead?
Balance the reference checks with a previous manager, a peer, a direct report, a supplier, a member of the community. This way you tend to get more of balanced view on the candidates attitude, ability and experience.
Also look at their interests – this gives you an indication as to the character of the person.
9. Making the employment offer
It’s easy to fall into the trap that money talks when making an employment offer. Money doesn’t always talk, particularly if a candidate is looking for a cultural fit, flexibility around their family, glide time to beat the traffic or the ability to work from home at times. All these are negotiable and can make the difference between a candidate accepting your offer or not.
The time to find out what is important to them is during the interview process. Depending on their answers, you can then make an offer that meets their needs as well as yours.
Be prepared for a candidate not to accept an offer. If they are a great candidate, they will be interviewing with other businesses as well which is why it’s always good to identify more than one ideal candidate.
10. Hiring the Candidate
This is when you can formalize the hiring process with an accepted letter of offer.
Now it is time to start the on-boarding process.
If you want the candidate to hit the ground running, you can take care of many of the formalities prior to their start date. Little things like arranging their pre-employment paperwork such as police checks, working with children checks (if this is relevant). You could send out other paperwork that allows them access to the internet with a log in so its ready the day they start. Pre-ordering uniforms or other required paperwork will make their first day run more smoothly.
Continuing to make the new hire feel wanted before their actual start date helps to make sure they turn up for their first day of work.
There is a difference between on-boarding and orientation.
Orientation is a one-time event where the new hire is welcomed to the company, taken through the company vision values and mission along with a review of administrative procedures such as computer log in systems etc.
On-boarding is a series of events that helps them understand how to be successful in their new role.
Don’t underestimate the power a good on-boarding experience has for a committed new hire. This is the time to cement that relationship and show the new employee how much it means to you to have them on board. There’s no point spending time and money to recruit a great candidate if you can’t retain them as a valued employee. On boarding is more than just paperwork and showing them where the toilets are. It’s making them feel welcome and that their choice to accept your letter of offer was a good one.
Prepare an on-boarding checklist in advance. Prepare their work-space in advance and have others sign a welcome to the team card and leave it on their desk. Arrange a “meet the team” morning tea either before they start or on the day they start. This alone makes them feel like they made the right decision to join your company and helps with the retention process.
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