Finding the perfect hire for your business is complex. Some people perform better in interviews than they do in real life and vice versa. Plus, even some of the most experienced and personable business leaders aren’t great in an interview setting. It can be a real challenge to work out if a candidate will be a good cultural fit with your team in a short space of time, and then you have to work out if they are serious about the role, and your company, and that they’ll stick around.
Naturally, you aren’t going to get it right every time, but there are a number of simple checks and exercises you can do to give you the best chance possible. From including some curveball questions to evaluating soft skills, read on to discover how to make sure you are hiring the right candidate for your business.
Make sure your job offer matches the candidate’s aspirations
The recruitment process is resource-intensive and it can be tempting to shoehorn a candidate into a role in order to get them through the door. This approach is unlikely to result in a great long-term hire. Think about what you need now and in the future and make sure this matches what your candidate’s goals are. Asking questions about a candidate’s aspirations also helps you understand how ambitious they are, and how interested they are in your firm, particularly. Don’t worry too much if the package you’re offering isn’t the best out there, in terms of remuneration. If budget is an issue, focus on the great training and development opportunities on offer, and the fun and inclusive workplace culture instead.
Strike a balance between discussing their past successes and how they would handle this role
A straightforward method for doing this is to ask them to talk you through their experience via their resume then ask them how they would apply their experience to the current role. Sounds obvious? You’d be surprised by how many business leaders don’t follow a coherent structure during interviews. Giving your interviewee a clear process for talking through their skills and achievements should help them promote themselves well and enable you to get a clear idea of their attributes and character. Try not to focus too much on the details of their past if they have had knockbacks. It’s how we approach the future that matters and we are all still learning lessons, no matter where we are in our careers.
Include a focus on finding the right cultural fit
Naturally, you will want your new team member to bond well with the rest of your colleagues and for them to be happy there. Here are some ideas to consider for finding the right cultural fit.
Include some curveball questions
Carrying out a ‘standardized’ interview with all the usual questions is unlikely to reveal your candidate’s true character. So, why not include a couple of unusual questions to see how they will respond. You could go all-out whacky with ‘if you were a fruit/hot drink/cereal what would you be?’ Or play it a bit more safe with something like ‘if you could write a letter to your teenage self, what would it say and why?’. At the very least you’ll find out how they handle surprising situations!
Always ask for references - and check them
Even if you think you’ve found your ideal candidate, it is always worth requesting and checking references to get a better understanding of the way they work and behave day-to-day. Checking references can also flag up characteristics in the candidate that you didn’t immediately notice so you can match them with projects and colleagues more effectively once they start. It’s a good idea to ask for two referees; one from the most recent employer and another of their choosing - another previous employer, co-worker, or professor, for example.
We hope these tips for making sure you hire the right candidate have been useful. We’d love to hear your own favorites so let us know on our social media channels. And if you could use some help with sourcing the best talent for your business, or you would like to discuss your ambitions for growing your team or business, get in touch. We’re experts in procurement and supply chain recruitment and we would love to help.
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