Hiring the right employee for a vacancy can be one of the biggest stresses of running a company. If you find the right person, you could strike up a productive relationship that will have a positive and long-lasting effect on your company operations; hire the wrong person and you could be in for months (or possibly even years) of arguments, failed promises and lackluster performance.
Finding the right employees is an integral part of managing a company. Assembling a team that works well together will increase your productivity, reduce your overall workload (through the power of delegation) and make you more confident in your company’s abilities.
Here are a few tips to help you identify the deadwood and make sure they don’t progress through your application process:
Write a comprehensive job summary and have a list of key attributes
Before advertising a vacancy, you should first identify exactly what you’re looking for and what you hope a particular person will bring to your company. Write down a list of key responsibilities and personal attributes that you’ll require from the successful applicant. Use this list to form the basis of your job advertisement – and keep it handy during the various stages of the application process, to assess candidate skills.
Plan your recruitment strategy
Think ahead to decide the various stages you’ll use in the application process. Most jobs start with applicants replying to an advert but think about any extra tests you might want to employ. For example, if you were advertising for a video editor, you might perhaps request previous examples of work or to see a show-reel as part of an application. For a copywriter, you could ask applicants to write a short 500-word piece on a subject of your choosing. Think creatively to get the best results.
Also, think about using pre-screening to save time interviewing all applicants. Pre-screening typically involves a short phone or video call to get a feel for potential employees.
For the interview proper, plan how you’ll conduct the meeting, the questions you’ll ask and what (if any) other staff members you might have present to help you with your decision. You’ll find it advantageous later if you keep everything consistent through your interview process – to allow you to make a direct comparison between applicants.
Thoroughly review candidate applications and resumés
Everyone knows it’s common for people to exaggerate on their resumés but there are times these exaggerations can cause you problems – or even have dangerous implications. For example, if you’re looking to hire an electrician, you will expect them to have (at least) basic levels of health and safety training. Thoroughly check a candidate’s qualifications, personal statement, career experience and references for flaws, missing skills or signs of exaggeration.
These days, it’s also becoming quite common for employers to perform a social media background check to find out information applicants may otherwise try to keep hidden.
Recent research has proven the internet and, in particular, social media companies have a better idea of our personality than our families. Checking a candidate’s social pages can give you a greater insight to the hidden sides of their character than any interview ever will.
At the interview, throw some curveball questions
Most candidates will already have in their heads an idea of the standard-type questions you’re going to ask and will have mentally prepared answers. To get a better idea of their real personality and get beyond rehearsed responses, try throwing in a couple of curveball questions to mix things up.
Try off-subject questions like, “What is the most incorrect misperception people have of you?” or, “If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?”
You’re far more likely to get a truer impression of personality if you put applicants on the spot with some trickier interview questions.