11 Sep 2019

How to Ensure You Get the Best Possible Candidates

To maintain a group of skilled employees, managers are periodically tasked with the challenging yet critical responsibility of recruiting and hiring new talent. It’s easier said than done, as this task bears serious implications.

Hiring the wrong person can lead to substantial financial and cultural ramifications for your company. Not only does it contribute to a higher and more costly turnover rate, but it also negatively affects productivity and increases the workload and stress for the rest of your team. With that in mind, managers across industries should consider adopting best hiring practices to ensure they maintain a well-rounded, robust team of quality employees. Here are a few tips to give you further insight into how to hire the best person for the job.

1. Assess their practical experience

Unless you’ve had the chance to work directly with a candidate, you must do your best to evaluate the practical and pertinent experience they bring with them. This is especially important for small companies, as management may not have time to teach new employees general industry knowledge. Instead, they need to hire candidates who already possess specific and applicable experience.

In order to assess each candidate’s background, you can rely on conventional methods, such as speaking with their references and researching the companies they’ve formerly worked with. However, you can also evaluate their understanding of the industry and proficiencies by having them complete a project as part of the application and/or interviewing process.  You also should include several scenario-type questions during the interview process.

2. Ask the right interview questions

Speaking of interviewing, this often is the most significant element within the hiring process. You should view interviewing not as a test, but rather as an open dialogue that inspires candor. Your goal is not to trip up interviewees with trick questions, but to get to know them on a more professional and personal level to see how they could fit into your company and its mission.

In general, your questions should be open-ended, eliciting in-depth responses. Lou Adler, president of The Adler Group and originator of the term ‘performance-based hiring,’ suggests asking candidates to discuss their most significant accomplishments. Get comfortable going off-script and asking follow-up questions. Also, avoid generic and overused conversation starters, such as, “Tell me about yourself.” You probably won’t learn anything more than what you’ve already gleaned from the candidate’s resume. Instead, ask how they feel they could contribute specifically to your company and its mission.

3. Test your candidates

Another way to know you’re selecting the right candidate for the job is to test them – literally. Pre-employment testing, when used appropriately, can help you assess the suitability of various candidates for your open position. Common types of standardized pre-employment tests pertain to job knowledge, integrity, cognitive ability, personality, emotional intelligence, skills assessment, and physical ability. Of course, each type of test has its limitations and not all of them are necessary or even suitable for every hiring situation. Depending on the job, however, testing is another way to help you assess candidates in various areas that can predict job performance.

4. Consider cultural fit

Employees perform better when they are in the right environment. A candidate may have all the right skills and knowledge, but if your company culture and their personality and preferences don’t mesh, both parties will suffer. When it comes to business culture, contributing factors include company size, work environment, ethics, values, available resources, training opportunities, employee engagement, and expectations.

You can assess applicants in this area through your interview questions and by checking their references. Introduce your top candidates to other employees who could potentially be their future coworkers.

5. Improve your recruiting strategy

The hiring process begins with recruitment. If quality candidates aren’t even applying for a particular job, then the company needs to enhance its recruiting strategy. The market is currently in favor of job seekers, which means your expectation should be to have only a few truly suitable and qualified candidates for an open position.

Use a variety of methods for connecting with job seekers like exploring niche job boards, tapping into social media, using an employee referral program, or partnering with a reputable recruiting firm, such as Connexis Search Group. Once you’ve advertised a position, be ready to move quickly through the decision-making process. The top people applying for your position are likely pursuing other opportunities simultaneously, and you don’t want to risk losing them as you trudge through a lengthy or cumbersome process. 

Finding the right person for the job

Filling an open position with the right person has tremendous short- and long-term value. If new hires are a good fit, you can expect less turnover – which mitigates recruitment and hiring expenses – and a better chance of the employee sticking around for a while. To hire the best candidate for the job, you first have to find them. As a top-tier recruiting firm, Connexis Search Group can help connect you with highly qualified candidates that are poised to become valuable employees.

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