Hire The Right Candidate

Here are some tips to help you make better hiring decisions and improve your recruitment process:

  • Make sure you have a written job profile and make sure the qualifications and requirements accurately predict future job performance. It is much better to describe how skills will be applied in the job than just listing skills. Top performers are interested in the challenges of a job and the opportunity for growth.

  • Don't rely too heavily on automatic resume filtering based on skills or years experience, at the very least do not present these too early in the application process. It can leave out the best candidates.
  • Make sure to sell the job, your company, and the opportunity for growth throughout the interview process.  The candidate will walk away with a positive image of your company and make it that much easier to close them at the end of the process.  Even if you don't want to hire them you want them to walk away wanting to work for you.
  • Make sure that job profiles are not just a list of skills.  Be sure to describe day-to-day duties, performance objectives, deliverables, challenges, responsibilities, and accomplishments that are expected of someone in this position.
  • Develop interview guides, standard interview questions, and procedures for each position so candidates are all evaluated objectively and on the same criteria.
  • Make use of panel interviews - this ensures you don't ask the same questions over and over, saves time and makes sure all people are evaluating the same responses to the same questions.
  • Make sure during the interview you do not focus too heavily on skills but rather the practical application of those skills.  Focus on the candidates major career/job accomplishments.
  • There are 4 major things you should try to draw out of a candidate in an interview. First, you want to find out about their past individual accomplishments.  Second, you want to find out about past team accomplishments. You may want to look for any relations between the two. Thirdly, you want to get examples of prior accomplishments that are similar to the performance objectives set out for the position the candidate is being interviewed for.  The fourth and final thing, is how the candidate would go about accomplishing the major performance objectives of that job.  This will assist you in weeding out candidates who may interview well but are not, in reality, top performers.
  • Have candidates describe a few major accomplishments throughout their career. Make sure to find out the "who, what, where, when, why and how's".  (i.e. describe accomplishments, company they worked for, results achieved including numbers and facts, how long the project was and when it took place, the importance of this accomplishment to the corporation, their title and role, team size, major challenges, examples of leadership, initiative and decision making, working under pressure, technical skills required, actual role played, mistakes made, was project on budget and on time, dealing with conflicts, etc.)
  • Another great question to ask is, "If you were hired to do this job, what steps would you take to solve [state major/common problem]?"
  • Use a variety of different types of questions including behavioural, situational, and technical questions.  Make sure to ask how the candidate may react to certain situations that may arise if they are hired for this position.
  • Train hiring managers and other people who will be conducting interviews on effective interviewing techniques.
  • Don’t limit your sources for good employees.
  • Review your best employees in each position to see if their qualifications match that current job description. If not, then make the necessary revisions.
  • Analyze current employees and create job profiles and benchmarks to indicate future job performance requirements.
  • Leverage your employee referrals by developing an effective and rewarding Employee Referral Program.
  • Avoid hiring someone who averages more than one employer every two years.
  • Always promote from within to maintain employee morale before going externally.
  • A person with an extensive contracting background is very likely to go back to self-employment when the economy permits. Hire this person as a consultant.
  • Use a temporary employment agency instead of hiring an employee to assure that you do need this person on a permanent basis.
  • “Over qualified” people are always better than “under qualified” people.
  • If possible, have the person exiting the position meet with their potential replacement.
  • Assess a potential employee’s energy levels.  If you engage in more than one interview, try to do it at different times of the day.
  • Look into any significant gaps in applicant's employment history.
  • Consider using outside recruitment agencies if you do not have the resources to follow a thorough hiring process.
  • Use pre-employment surveys.
  • Verify an applicant’s background and all references thoroughly.
  • Know the terms of employment.
  • Test the skills and industry knowledge of a prospective employee. Get specific.