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How Do I Choose The Right Candidate For A Job?

Hiring is a high-stakes and stressful activity. With high onboarding costs and the cost of a bad hire estimated at 30% of their first-year earnings, this is something you want to get right from the start. If you don’t want a big dent in your revenue it’s essential to choose the right person.

Here are 10 ways you can gain insights during the hiring process to set you up for success.

Pre-screen With Phone Interviews

Before an in-person interview, do a thorough phone screen with your shortlisted candidates. During this conversation, chat about job duties, company culture, salary and their work history. Try to work out what their training needs might be. The idea is to suss out any deal-breakers while saving yourself valuable time, allowing you to narrow down to the best candidate.

Make the Interview Fun!

How are you supposed to get a good feel for someone in a cold, dry and anxiety-inducing meeting? Throw the idea of a traditional interview out the window. What environment allows you to get to know someone best? Well, probably the kind that allows them to open up and be themselves. Your aim here is to make the candidate feel comfortable. What that looks like is up to you. Maybe the interview is at a cafe. Maybe there are snacks and drinks on offer. Laugh, engage and talk openly with them. You’re much more likely to get a feel for cultural fit this way.

Set Expectations During The Interview

Create a list of tasks — expectations to be achieved at the one, two and three-month mark for the job. During the interview, run through what the candidate should be able to accomplish by when. Ask them how they would plan to achieve these deliverables, and what resources they might need. This is a good way to assess competency. You should be able to gauge skill as well as judgement.

Pay Attention To Their Questions

The candidate’s questions can actually provide more valuable insight than the interview. This will demonstrate whether they researched your company prior to the interview. Good candidates should be well prepared with intelligent questions about the role and the company culture. If they are taking this job seriously you would expect them to make the most of this opportunity, right? When a candidate has an authentic desire to join your company, they’ll be trying to find out if their personal values align with your culture, and that’s exactly what you want.

Keep Asking Questions

Keep asking “why” and “how” questions. Ask them about achievements and accomplishments until you have a clear idea of the candidate’s contribution to them. You’ll be able to identify whether they were part of a team, whether they lead a team, and how they achieve things. You should be able to see how candidates dealt with real challenges and learned new things to help them master a situation. A good candidate will display that learning process.

The Past Is The Best Predictor Of The Future

Before posting the job, analyse what has happened with this role in the past. Does it have a high turnover rate? What were the reasons people left the job? How long did they normally stay? You are looking for internal or external influences on previous hires. If you have any issues to address it’s best to do that before searching for a new hire. The aim here is to avoid a cycle of hiring and losing people.

Take Your Time

It’s really easy to let a sense of urgency get the better of you in the hiring process. If you need someone yesterday it’s tempting to speed up the steps you’d normally take. Try to resist this urge! If the wrong person is hired it could end up being really costly for you. Slow down and spend more time screening. The pressure to hire now can easily cloud your judgement.

Ask Questions To Gauge Personality and Culture Fit

Much of the early hiring process is about picking the right combination of education and work history. This information is objective and helps you get the most experienced candidates to the interview stage. After that, you’re looking for the right personality and cultural fit. Get them talking about their ideal management style and the kind of teams they work best in. Get a feel for sporting or other outside-of-work interests. Ask them how’d they deal with specific workplace-related issues. Finding a good personality fit for your company culture is crucial!

Ask Them To Complete A Project Before The Interview

Much of the early hiring process is about picking the right combination of education and work history. This information is objective and helps you get the most experienced candidates to the interview stage. After that, you’re looking for the right personality and cultural fit. Get them talking about their ideal management style and the kind of teams they work best in. Get a feel for sporting or other outside-of-work interests. Ask them how’d they deal with specific workplace-related issues. Finding a good personality fit for your company culture is crucial!

Give them a problem to solve

Make this a part of the application process if possible. Set up a problem they would be likely to encounter in their role and ask them how they would go about solving it. Give them a word limit so they need to think strategically about how to answer. If you like their response, shortlist them and ask them about it in the interview. By discussing their thinking behind the solution, you’ll get information about both their skills and behaviours. Discover how they would approach a problem and how’d they apply their knowledge and skills to best effect.

Keen for more tips? Check out Must-Ask Interview Questions When Hiring for Your Small Business Ready to find the perfect candidate? Start the search

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