Finding the Perfect Candidate

Have you ever made a hiring mistake? There are few things as painfully obvious as when an employee isn’t working out at your company, so how is it possible that you thought they were great for the job just a few months ago? Sure, they didn’t let on their ineptitude and crummy attitude until after the interview, but, when it comes down to it, a bad hire is a bad investment and it’s your time that’s most often wasted in the process. In order to make better hires in the future, you need to put a good deal of thought into both what sort of person the perfect candidate would be and market your job specifically to that person. Though you’ll probably still get a whole ton of under-qualified candidates swarming for the job, having your perfect candidate in mind from the outset will ultimately help you to make a better hire. 

The first step in finding the perfect candidate is marketing your job to that person. Think back to people that you’ve hired for your open position in the past. Which qualities (personal and professional) made them a success in the role and which qualities led to them not working out in the end? In order to make a better hire this time, use your past hiring successes and mistakes as a blueprint for the profile of your perfect candidate.

The next step is actually writing that job description. Instead of your job description being an impossibly long list of required skills and experience,  gear your job description toward what you think your ideal candidate wants out of their next job. The opportunities for professional growth that the work and your company offer, the highly driven team that they’ll be leading. By marketing your next job in this way, you increase the likelihood that someone similar to your ideal will end up applying. Comparing candidates against your ideal hire can be a useful evaluation tool, just don’t let what you consider to be “qualified” stray too far from what’s realistic or necessary for performing well in that role. Remember, you want to attract Mr./Ms. right, not discourage everyone from applying in the first place.

The final step in finding the perfect candidate is searching through your applicant pool for the person that’s as close to your ideal candidate as possible. This is where you put your profile into practice, interviewing candidates for the personality traits that you’ve identified as being crucial to success in the position that you’re hiring for. In order to hire the right sort of people for your company, you need to be asking the right sort of questions. To get you on the right track, here’s “How to Conduct the perfect Interview,” a free Webinar from hiring experts Ray Rike and John Younger. In this Webinar, you’ll learn about the latest nuances in hiring from today’s talent market and interview tips to make filling your next job a whole lot easier.

Instead of just asking candidates if they “exhibit strong tendencies toward leadership with an emphasis in training others,” (which can be answered with a simple “yes”) try asking a question like, “When did you first know that you wanted to be a leader?” or “What sort of training programs do you think are the most successful?”   By asking candidates questions that will let them showcase their experience and personality, you’re much more likely to reveal your perfect candidate from rest of the pack.

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