Finding the ideal candidate the first time around saves both time and money for you and your job applicant, but finding this perfect addition to your team is more easily said than done.
Still, there are a few ways to ensure that the person sitting in the interview seat is the exact candidate for the job, and that you won't be left wishing you'd made a different decision.
1. Understanding the job and essential requirements
Prior to a position being advertised, the company needs to take a hard look at the opening and determine if this should be a replacement position, or if there is an opportunity for internal movement, absorption, additional essential functions or requirements. Be clear about what is required to perform the job.
Many companies opt for a candidate they like, but try to not to look at this position as stagnant.
For example, many times organizations dismiss a candidate because they feel they might grow out of the position in a few years. Focus on what is needed today—not what may possibly happen in the future.
Hiring managers should avoid becoming interested in one aspect of the candidate, whether that is appearance, credentials, or someone that is very similar to a certain image, especially if that person does not have the particular qualifications for the job.
This is an opportunity to remain competitive in the marketplace. Assessing against the market in both soft skills and compensation allows the company to identify gaps in an organization’s processes in order to achieve a competitive advantage.
Ask yourself, do these benchmarks align with the cultural fit, financial goals, and essential requirements of the position? What are the atributes, motivators, and behaviors? This can save a lot of money and time and reduces disruptions to the business which can result in a bad hire.
Many companies conduct pre employment tests on candidates for employment to determine if they are a good match for the job they might potentially be hired to do. These results will give the company an indication of how close a match the candidate taking the test will be to the companies hiring specifications and increase the likelihood of hiring a high quality candidate. When administered correctly, pre employment testing can help companies save time and cost in the selection process, decrease turnover, increase productivity and improve morale.
3. Taking the right amount of time
The more pressure a department or company is under the greater likihood of rushing the decision and ending up with someone who’s not only the best choice, but who could end up quitting or terminated.
This creates a tremendous amount of disruption within the entire organization. Taking the time and energy to wait for the right candidate saves a lot more time in the long run.
4. Developing well thought out interview questions
Understanding essential skills of the job and having reasonable expectations of what the position entails is extremely important. Interview questions should be relevant to the position and all hiring managers and staff involved should be aware of the questions that can and cannot be asked legally.
The interviewer should decide what they want to ask to determine whether or not the candidate has the skills and abilities to perform the job. This process should be kept simple. Use only one or two questions per job requirement.
Applicants past performance at similar tasks is also a good predictor of future performance. This allows the hiring manager, human resources or participating staff to hone in more closely on the candidates skills. Many times candidates inflate their skills and without targeted questions, it is possible for an offer to be extended to a candidate that might not be able to perform the job efficiently or at all.
5. Avoid involving too many people in the process
A best practice, particularly when filling key positions, is to get input from others that can make a final choice. Involving too many people can lead to conflicting opinions. In addition, the final outcome may be a compromised choice.
Restrict the decision makers to 3-5 people who really understand the job, culture, and personality of the working style of the hiring managers.
6. Selecting the candidate and offer letters
Once all of the interviews have been completed and everyone involved had the opportunity to evaluate the candidates and compare notes, a candidate will be chosen for the position.
The candidate should not only be extended a verbal offer but a formal written letter as well. In addition, it is considered best practice to notify all applicants whether they got the job or not. Letters sent to rejected applicants should be crafted carefully.
It’s generally best to avoid detailing the reasons a person was not selected. There is no law requiring an employer to tell rejected applicants specifically why they weren't chosen, unless the decision not to hire was based on a consumer credit report.
The offer letter should set the expectations of the job, the nature of the duties, the pay and benefits, the relationship and any conditions that must be met after acceptance before the first day of hire. They also act as a solid reminder of what was discussed in the interview process.