Five ways to avoid recruitment heartache and find your dream candidate
A few weeks back, Nick Cummins made Bachelor history when he chose no one in the finale of the Bachelor Australia.
The 30-year-old rugby union star known as the Honey Badger told both Brittany Hockley and Sophie Tieman that he could not commit 100 percent of himself to either of them.
There’s been a huge response about the fact he decided to pick no one, but I for one think he made the right decision (stay with me, I promise I have a point).
There aren’t many people who would be able to marry someone – or agree to a long term relationship – after spending such a short amount of time with them.
Most people would balk at the idea of any sort of commitment after knowing someone for such a short amount of time.
Nevertheless, that’s kind of what happens in the world of recruiting!
Just like there’s pressure on the Bachelor, often there’s pressure when recruiting to fill vacancies at all costs – which means some employers and some agencies spend limited time with a candidate and then both agree to spend most of their waking hours together.
To help you avoid a Honey Badger-style heartache, here’s five ways you can improve your recruitment process to find your dream candidate.
After all, you spend more hours with your work family than you do with your partner, so it’s important to get the fit absolutely right!
Make sure any candidates referred to you have been met in person
Some agencies (not all of them) put candidates forward for roles without meeting them in person first – not our style or best practice. When it comes to establishing a personal connection (which is what you’re aiming for), nothing can replace human interaction. And personally, the thought of submitting a video of my interview responses to an employer or agency to determine whether I’m a suitable candidate really makes me squirm!
Instead, ensure all candidates are met in person and have a thorough process in place to find out if they are the right fit.
Establish a ‘wish list’ of the type of person you’re looking for
What are your must-haves/non-negotiables? What are your ‘nice to haves’?
Get clear on what you’re looking for, remembering skills can be taught, but behaviours and attitude can’t. If a candidate ticks all your boxes in terms of skill set and experience but you get the sense something is not quite right or you don’t click, listen to your gut.
You’ll be spending a LOT of time together, so you want to make sure the person you hire is a great fit for the workplace’s values and culture, as well as having the technical ability to fulfill the role requirements.
Ask the right interview questions and keep it open ended
Take the time to prepare your interview questions and ensure they’re written in a way that encourages the candidate to reply with a detailed answer.
Rather than asking, “Can you do a bank reconciliation?”, the question should be: “talk me through how you would go about completing a complex bank reconciliation?”
Let them explain. When it comes to ascertaining a person’s ‘soft skills’ the same approach applies. Ask questions that require the candidate to tell a story drawing from their previous experience i.e. “…describe a situation where you had to show flexibility in your previous role”. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.
Their answers will give you an insight into whether they fit your expectations and the work culture.
Get a second opinion
While you might be strong in determining if a candidate has the right technical ability for your position, perhaps you aren’t so great at assessing a person’s ‘soft skills’.
Play to your strengths and seek help from a colleague who is particularly strong in the area you’re not. You can do this by either both attending the initial interview, or you might want your colleague to conduct the second interview if you’re comfortable with how your candidate performed in the first interview.
Do your background checks
The importance of thorough employment checks goes without saying, but don’t forget to use social media to screen candidates before hiring.
Take it from me, it’s amazing what you can find online. Sometimes what you dig up can actually work in the candidate’s favour, other times not so much!
Oh yeah and candidates? If you’re using social media to rant about your current job because you think you’re just among “friends”? Think again. Screening is part of our background checks so pause before you post!
Written by Melanie Mansfield