There’s no way around it – these are incredibly challenging times if you’re looking to make a hire. There’s somewhere in the region of one million vacant jobs and no sign of anywhere near enough candidates to fill them.
This makes finding the right hire even more difficult. Making a successful hire can mean a working relationship that spans years (or decades, if you’re lucky) and can prove an invaluable asset to your team and your workload.
So, when faced with the choice of candidates, how do you pick the very best fit for your business? Follow our six simple steps to ensure that – even if our recruiters have already sent you the cream of the crop – you say “you’re hired” to the right person.
Write better job descriptions
Obviously, a skilled recruiter will be able to match candidates accurately to your job spec, but what does the candidate get out of what you have written? Will it give them an idea of their anticipated workload, the company culture, the benefits package? Make sure your ad is engaging by testing it this way: Would you want to work there if you read it? Do you understand what is on offer and what is expected?
Use social media
This is a two-fold tip. You can use social media to get your job ads out there to a bigger audience and you can also use it to check out prospective employees. The current generation of graduates will often use social media as a natural part of their job search and research process – so make sure you have plenty of pictures, blogs and generally enthusiastic posts about the company.
Focus on soft skills
Yes, it would be wonderful if all the candidates ticked absolutely every box you could wish for, but there’s more to a person than a check list exercise. Do they have good interpersonal skills? Is their personality a good fit for the company culture? What about emotional intelligence and working practices? These are all important things to consider.
Improve your interview process
If you interview someone in a rush in between meetings, they will sense it. If you seem uninterested or too demanding, they will pick up on that too. Forget asking daft questions about what they feel their spirit animal is, make the time to get to know the person, ask questions about their CV and really sell your company as a good place to work. Interviews are a two-way process – a candidate may not like the experience you offer them if it’s not done properly.
Ask the right questions
You can’t exactly ask someone if their lazy or a liability in the office, so asking the right kinds of questions will help you get the answers to these. If you ask why they left their previous job and they blame someone else or don’t think that they have any weaknesses – there’s a problem. Asking about problem solving or conflict resolution is a good idea. Find out where they see themselves in five years’ time.
Encourage candidates to ask questions
As we said previously, an interview is very much a two-way journey of discovery and a candidate has just as much right to ask probing questions as you do. Sell your company, without over-exaggerating the place as a veritable fun-house or underplaying any existing issues. Every business has its ups and downs – candidates get that – they just want to see if you’re the right fit for them.
If you would like to speak to me about recruiting candidates during this difficult jobs market, I would be more than happy to offer advice. Click here to see my details