In today’s cut-throat world of work, there is no shortage of candidates for just about any position. However this surfeit of human resources does not mean that recruitment is easy (despite the automation offered by HRMS systems!). The reality is that getting the interviewing-hiring-on boarding process right is often one of the biggest challenges a company faces.  This is because the costs of hiring a ‘wrong’ candidate can be very high. And if that person suddenly quits after you’ve spent time and money training them, the consequences can be painful and even catastrophic.

So how can firms improve their recruitment process and increase their chances of hiring the ‘best’ candidate every time?

Here are 5 tips!

  1. Be clear on what you’re really looking for

What are you looking for in the person you want to hire? Skills? Behaviors? Experience? Strengths?

Do you know which goals the person is expected to achieve? What KPIs will they be judged against during performance appraisals?

Spend some time with profile-building and establish ‘baselines’ by considering all these factors before you start interviewing.

  1. Don’t just ask questions – test!

Instead of relying on simple question-answer interviews, use other methodologies to test your candidates’ skills and suitability. Give them a problem to solve, place them in a group discussion, ask them to give a sales pitch or give them some data to analyse and summaries. Take them out of the ‘interview zone’ and make them uncomfortable enough to reveal their real selves.

  1. Run a social background check

To get to know your candidates, asking them personal questions may not be the best route. Why not check their social media presence instead? This will help you learn more about them as a person. Their LinkedIn profile may offer a better insight into their skills, strengths and experience than their resume. This activity can also give you a good starting point to assess their cultural ‘fit’ with your company.

  1. Pay attention to what they say…and what they don’t

Some candidates are articulate conversationalists while some are awkward stutterers.  Regardless, when conducting interviews, it’s important to pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues. Does the candidate speak confidently because they’re truthful or is their verbosity hiding some mistakes or worse – lies? What does their body language say?

Ask them about an experience that left a deep impression or about something that’s important to them. You can learn a lot about a person by listening to their stories – and body language – about being pet owners, foster parents, caregivers or migrants.

  1. Ask for feedback from other people

Find ways for other employees to interact with your candidate. Then ask them for feedback to help with your decision-making. What do they say about your candidate? What were their first impressions? Last impressions?

Hiring great candidates is often a process of trial and error. There is no magic pill or instant formula to ensure that you’ll get it right every time. However, with time and effort, you will be able to hire the candidate who is best for your company.

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