9 Tips for Finding Out If Your Candidate Is The Perfect Match for The Job
Are you hoping to fill a vacancy at your company — and yesterday?
Do you want to make the best hire for your corporation and for a specific team?
Do you feel overwhelmed by the possibilities and don’t feel like you should just go with a gut feeling?
If you’ve been burned in the past by job candidates that just didn’t work out, then it’s completely reasonable to feel frustrated and apprehensive about making a new hire.
Remember that finding the right fit for your company takes time and practice — and you can learn how right now with these nine insider tips for making sure your candidate is the perfect match for the job.
Are you ready to use proven tactics to make a great hire? Here’s how in nine easy, pro tips to get you started:
Tip #1: Know What You’re Looking for Before You Interview
Sometimes you don’t realize what you are truly looking for until after you start interviewing — but there are steps you can take ahead of the interviewing process to define the core competencies you really need on your team.
You don’t want this to be an exhaustive, overwhelming list. We’re talking about four main non-negotiable competencies that the candidate needs to have to do the job and excel at it.
For example, here are four key competencies for an elementary school teacher:
- Teacher certification
- Control of a classroom
- Clear teaching style
These competencies will change based upon the job, but try to identify four that you absolutely need in a candidate — and it will help you rule out candidates who do not meet those basic requirements.
Tip #2: Say “No” to “Yes-or-No Questions”
A huge failure of most interviews is that interviewer ask yes or no questions. Instead, ask open-ended questions that point to a candidate’s behaviour.
This will give you the right answers that help you determine how the candidate will handle like situations in your workplace.
A few examples:
- Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a colleague and the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you failed at a project and how you resolved it in your mind?
- Tell me about a time when you were most proud of your work?
Tip #3: Pay Attention to Body Language
As your job candidate is answering your questions, make sure you pay attention to body language.
Is the person looking at your directly in the eye or is he or she looking down or above your head? Is the candidate fidgeting? Is there a shaky voice at work? Not all of these factors point to being a poor candidate or rule out a candidate — but they could weigh more heavily depending on the job.
For example, you may not want to hire an attorney who can’t make direct eye contact. You may not want a communications director who goes on and on answering a question.
Some of these body language quirks could be due to nerves — but just pay attention to them and make note across your candidate pool.
Tip #4: Write a Blurb About Your Company Culture
If you can’t communicate clearly about your company culture and vibe, then you are going to have a difficult time telling a job candidate about it.
Instead, spend a few moments writing down some sentences that define your company culture.
For example, a start-up’s company culture may use words such as:
- Communal working space
- Long hours expected
- Innovative and exciting
These words are not going to resonate as much with a job candidate that prefers working in a 9-5 office with professional attire.
You’ll need to make sure you are setting expectations of your company culture in the interview and paying attention to how the candidate reacts to your description.
Tip #5: Tailor Your Job Ad to Your Required Competencies and Company Culture
If you want to attract the right match for the job, you’ll need to market the job in the best way possible that will get the attention of candidates and set their expectations for working at your company.
To that end, make sure you write your job ad with special emphasis on the four competencies that you are looking for and the company culture that your candidate will be working in.
From there, pay attention to which job candidates mention these elements in their cover letter. You’ll be able to better determine if the two of you are looking for exactly the same things in a job and company culture.
Tip #6: Pre-Screen Your Job Candidates Over the Phone
Don’t waste your time bringing in every job candidate that looks good on paper.
There are plenty of job candidates that have something to say in a cover letter and have an impressive resume, but until you actually talk to the candidate, you don’t really know whether they truly will be a great fit for your company or for a specific spot on a team that you are hoping to fill.
To get around this issue, make sure you pre-screen contenders for the in-person interview via a 15- or 20-minute phone call. You can get a sense of their communication style, their demeanour, their interest in the job and their competencies.
Make a list of candidates who pass the pre-screening interview and pass them along to the department head or team lead. From there, the key decision-makers can begin to plan for in-person interviews.
Go back to the drawing board if you don’t find any great candidates in the pre-screening process. Usually you should be able to come back with several to move to the next round, but you never know and it’s better to be safe than to be sorry with offering a job to the wrong candidate for your team or company.
Tip #7: Prepare Your Team for the In-Person Interview
Not just the hiring manager should be interviewing the job candidate. Instead, you need buy-in from the team of people who will be working with the new employee day in and out. If you don’t get their buy-in, then ultimately you may be creating more discouragement and conflict among your team members in the future.
Remember that hiring a particular candidate is often about the right fit. Yes, you need the core competencies. But sometimes a person who has the competency — but less years in using it — can be better fit personality-wise to an existing team with someone with a longer-tenured competency.
You’ll need to not only think about your team dynamics but also train your employees who will be interviewing the candidate to ask open-ended questions and to ask questions that will help investigate whether the candidate will fit into the company culture. One way to do this effectively is to train your employees in knowing the company’s value system.
Tip #8: Set Up a Feedback Process
Following each interview, ask colleagues to fill out a short survey that rates the candidate and provides space for personal feedback. What did your colleagues like/dislike about the candidate? Which candidates were most impressive? Which ones can get the job done the best? Who has the best demeanour, teamwork attitude, etc. The questions on your survey can be defined by the core competencies that you are looking for in a new employee for your team.
After interviewing all of the candidates, have your employees rank them by preference. This gives you a sense of who your employees think would do the best job — and the candidates they would like to work with or feel they would work the best with over time.
The feedback of the employees who will be working directly with the candidate should be given more weight.
Tip #9: Keep Track of Your Candidates
Instead of using pen and paper and have your ideas and recruitment strategies all mixed up, you should try using an HR Management Software. This kind of software solutions can be a real life-saver for the recruiting industry, being able to keep track of candidates and their skills.
Not all candidates will be able to fill in the position they applied for, but these kinds of systems are able to match them in the future with other areas in your business that they might be suitable for.
So, go ahead, forget about old means of recruiting and keeping track of all the candidates you interviewed. Giving a chance to new technology and ways of recruiting might save you a lot of time and stress and will improve your hiring strategies as well as success rate.
Are You Ready to Start Interviewing?
Finding the perfect candidate for the job for your company can be a labour-intensive project. But with the proper planning, practice and questions — you can make a more informed choice and come out of the deal with a job candidate that works well on your team and can be an asset to your company.
Remember that no hiring manager is good at hiring at the beginning. It takes time to develop skills that help you make a good hire and offer. So, give yourself time and try practicing each of these tips once a week over the course of nine weeks to improve your hiring resolve and muscle.
Did you use a tip from this list that was especially helpful to you in your hiring process? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Feel free to add your own tips, too!
Addison Jenning is an HR Manager and a productivity aficionado. She loves writing and she spends time doing so on Job Descriptions Wiki, in order to help all the individuals out there who are still looking for the right answers when it comes to the career path they want to follow. When she’s not finding the perfect candidates for the job, she tries to improve her company’s culture as much as possible.