Following the era of COVID-19, employees and companies alike have jumped at the opportunity for fresh starts. For recruitment, this means fair-game, with an unusually large and highly talented pool of candidates to choose from. Choosing between two candidates can be difficult, and sourcing these candidates can be even trickier.
We all know recruitment can be overwhelming and exhausting, at times. From advertising the open position to sorting through the never-ending pile of CVs it can seem like the final interview is never really in sight. Likewise for the candidates; the endless hurdles and stages of the selection process can be extremely disheartening, and can potentially push them to take another job instead. However, if you could learn how to balance rigorously vetting the candidateswith a seamless and simple process why wouldn’t you?
Our step-by-step guide to hiring the perfect candidate below should help…
#1 Create Your Recruitment Process
The process can’t run smoothly if there is no process! Ensure you get your perfect match by planning out a hiring system which methodically sorts through candidates until you find who you need.
When leadership or HR identifies the need for a new hire, they should refer to a diagram or visual aid to kickstart the process. A recruitment process flowchart is a valuable tool that can streamline hiring. The steps documented start as early as acknowledging the need to hire, and typically finish at agreeing the start date with the candidate.
Whilst building the initial flowchart can take time, the moments invested in creating this useful tool will shave hours off each hire by preparing the team for any eventuality or outcome. The first flowchart simplifies the process, it becomes straightforward and accessible, so that even less senior members of the HR team can do their part without consulting their manager.
Whilst visual aids are for clarity, they also increase accountability.
The second example highlights the role of every stakeholder in the process. This brings awareness to the process and gives everyone a better understanding of the time and effort required to bring in high-quality candidates. This visual aid will encourage individuals to complete their part efficiently and allow hiring to run itself. In our world, you should never need to wait weeks on a manager’s approval before confirming a new hire.
First thing’s first; you need to know what you’re looking for! When it comes to finding new talent, everyone wants to hire only “the best”, but if someone were to question what that actually meant, would you know what to say?
If you want to hire the best talent, you need to know what skills you’re looking for. The more that you define the qualities of the candidate, the better your judgement will be when it comes to choosing. From background and education to adaptability and values, you need to envision what you want.
However, data from LinkedIn’s network of over 660 million professionals and 20 million jobs, discovered that the top skills employers are seeking in 2020 are generic and lack definition. Creativity, Persuasion and Collaboration were found as the three most valued skills, but with no real explanation of what these are (Study International, 2020).
When you’re picking the qualities that will embody the role, define what their added value will be so you know who to look for. A great way to make them as specific as possible is to play the “WHY?” game. This requires you to put yourself into the shoes of a 5 year old child and use their mentality to really get to the core issue, see the example below.
CREATIVITY → WHY? → To develop new ideas and think outside the box. WHY? → To gain fresh perspective in hope they find solutions to existing problems. → WHY? → Because we are stuck in a rut and need an employee from outside the company.
→ THEREFORE: We are seeking a creative individual who is not afraid to speak their mind and challenge the norm. They should feel confident pushing the boundaries to bring innovation.
As a coworking space, this has helped us ensure we find dynamic and open-minded employees who embody the OneCoWork culture and we are confident that if you play this exercise with every quality on your list, when it comes to building the candidate profile it will be much easier to make it unique, attracting exactly who you need.
#3 Sell The Dream to the Candidate
Once you know who you are searching for, you have to be able to reel them in! What makes them tick? What will draw their attention and assure that the perfect candidate fills the role? It’s time to build the job advertisement of dreams, taking into consideration the characteristics of your ideal candidate…
HireVue, seeks candidates who are easy going, forward thinking and relaxed. They’ve built a job description which (they hoped) would emulate this. Check it out for yourself and we’ll see you on the other side to analyse how they’ve done!
This example is definitely creative and more importantly candidate centric! It’s written in a tone which aims to attract someone dynamic and open-minded but even more so, someone from any background.
This job description welcomes diversity by describing the variety of the people on the team from mountain bikers to family people, emphasizing their dislike for discrimination based on ethnicity, race or class without even saying it!
What a fantastic way to be inclusive without introducing the cliché line we’ve all seen far too often about Inclusivity and Diversity.
Make sure to set the tone of your ad, encouraging the most suitable candidates to apply. Build your vision and sell it.
#4 Spread The Word
With 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, over 45% of the global population interact with the internet as part of their day-to-day lives (Oberlo, 2019). The ever-increasing uses of social media now include job searching and recruitment; with many candidates searching actively on platforms like LinkedIn for their next position.
This has made it easier than ever for recruiters to passively post a job advert and hope for the best. This has the potential to be effective, with more than 90% of companies preferring recruitment through social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and 45% of Fortune 500 firms preferring this medium of advertisement.
However, you can’t just take the risk that your advert may fall into your dream candidate’s hands (Entrepreneur, 2014). It’s time to get creative and start to think about ways to spread the word without relying on social channels.
The video below describes a job advert done by IKEA without any digital marketing. Thinking outside the box, it managed to spread the word in a unique way which led to over 4,000 applicants and 280 hires. Think of recruitment like a game of chinese whispers; you want everyone to gossip about the hottest new vacancy at your company, so you need a story that makes them talk.
Don’t get us wrong, digital advertisements are still a very effective way to spread the word (unless you also have huge warehouses that receive thousands of visitors daily, worldwide), Get creative and leave your mark so that yours is the first application the candidate fills in.
#5 Finalise The Candidate Shortlist
Hopefully, you are reading this after following steps 1-4 and you currently have a pile of relevant and competitive resumes in front of you on the desk. At this stage, it’s important not to get carried away by the flashy applications and big claims the candidates make but return to the original vision you built. What are those core qualities that will define the perfect candidate?
A great way to help you stay efficient and focused is to print out the job description and reference it every time you are unsure about a candidate. If they don’t tick every box, this is no time to compromise.
For those that you discard, make sure to end on good terms. The less you keep them waiting, the more likely they will be to consider you again in the future. Plus, there is the added bonus that they will become inadvertent brand ambassadors, sharing their positive experience of you with friends. Applicants appreciate efficiency in the process just as much as you do!
#6 Take Your Pick of the Candidates
A Face to face meeting before the final choice is made is essential. If the candidate is walking through the door for an interview, they will definitely have the company vision, mission and job description down. Focus on the candidates character at this stage to ensure they’re a cultural fit.
This is the perfect opportunity to check company compatibility. You want to find an employee that will not only fit in with your company's culture, but one that will embody it, strengthening the team. Test out the candidate’s social skills by inviting them for a coffee in the office kitchen, see how they engage with other employees.
If this is really the ‘perfect candidate’, you’ll want them long term. Assess their commitment to their career and drive for progression within the company.
#7 Define The Relationship
You’ve made up your mind and decided on the most compatible applicant for the role. We hope at this final hurdle. The candidates have been whittled down to one person who embodies the job description like it was written about them. Congratulations! But before you celebrate, you need to make sure the applicant wants you as much as you want them. Afterall, you don’t want to be in a one-sided relationship.
Be frank with the candidate - tell them why you want them and what you are confident they will bring to the role (flattering yet also holds them accountable). Tell them about the highs and the lows of the role so that when they choose to take it there will be no surprises.
Wrapping up our step-by-step guide to recruiting the perfect candidate
So, that’s it! Our seven point plan to help you find your perfect candidate. We put our expertise into practice time and time again for our very own recruitment service, and we are proud to say that it works. Let us know if it finds you your dream recruit too!
Don’t fret if you are still struggling to find your perfect hire, we started OneRecruit, an on-demand recruitment service, to make hiring as easy for you as possible. With simple hourly rates and no hidden fees all you have to do is let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll do the rest. Hear from Caio, our recruitment manager, in the video below on how he can help you. We look forward to hiring with you.