July 2nd, 2019 | Nadia Ahmed, Sterling

10 Best Practice Considerations to Hiring the Right Candidate

10 Best Practice Considerations to Hiring the Right Candidate

Any business owner will attest that their greatest asset is their employees. Therefore, most employers are willing to invest significantly on new recruits. Time, training, money and resources are made available to guarantee that the new resource will add to the success of the business. Google has calculated that recruiting a top-performing employee can lead to 300 times more productivity and business impact, versus hiring an ‘average’ one. However, if a good hire can give you a competitive advantage, studies have shown that a bad hire can cost your business dearly. A 2017 CareerBuilder survey revealed that companies lost on average nearly $15,000 on every bad hire.

Finding the right employees for your business can be a complex and unpredictable process. Therefore, great recruiters require plans and tools to increase their chances of attracting top-hires versus mis-hires.

Here are 10 hiring practices that every future employer, HR and recruitment agent should put into practice.

1. Write a clear, accurate and enticing job description

Hiring new staff can be extremely time consuming. The last thing you want to do is waste more of it going through applications that are irrelevant for the position. Your job description is your first interaction with potential candidates and what will attract them to submit an application. Poorly written job descriptions can bring confusion. Having a clear and detailed job summary will assist you in determining what skills, education and experiences you are looking for in an employee. Highlight the necessary skills and values required for the position. This sets your standards and outlines your goals giving the candidate an accurate understanding of what to expect. It will draw attention to the benefits and advantages for the future employee. Your tailored job description is what will set you apart from other employers and will attract the type of candidates you are most likely looking for.

2. Focus on experiences and accomplishments

As a recruiter, you quickly realise that amongst the many CV’s you receive, education, certifications, and experiences are by no means unique. So, how can you determine which candidate is the best fit for the role? During the interview, rather than focusing on knowledge and skills, direct the conversation towards the applicant’s experiences and accomplishments. What have they done that is unique? What projects have they started or completed? How did their work impact their company’s bottom line or helped them evolve? You can also look for candidates whose responses follow the S-T-A-R method (Situation, Target, Action, Result). These will give you a greater insight in the candidate’s ability to produce results and bring to light the uniqueness of each applicant.

3. Conduct a background check

Your most important task as a recruiter is to find the best candidate for your company. Not only someone who has the required skills and competences for the job, but also a person who can enact the core values and principles of your business. In a perfect world, the candidate’s CV followed by an interview would suffice to select your ideal employee. However, we are also living in a world where some candidates can not only be a little crafty in their presentation, but also present outright lies and deceit. In their 2018 report, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that occupational fraud cost employers 5% of their annual revenues. If those 5% were to be applied to the 2017 estimated Gross World Product of $79.6 trillion, it would result in a fraud loss of nearly $4 trillion.  Moreover, College and University registrar’s report that at least 60% of the verifications they receive contain falsified information.

Whereas in the US 96% of employers conduct at least one type of background check, surveys conducted by Sterling showed that a staggering 40% of business in the UK fail to conduct any kind of check. Although 25-30% of those same businesses are considering starting a screening programme in the following year.

A background check helps you make better, more consistent and more informed hiring decisions. It is a proactive way to ensure minimising risks in your hiring process.

Generally speaking, there are 3 key areas that employers should consider before hiring a candidate:

  1. Checks that verify if the candidate meets the legal requirements and obligations to exercise the in the position you are offering: Right to Work and Identity Checks, DVLA Reports and Public Safety Check. The Right to Work Check is a legal requirement and can have tremendous consequences on the employer. Getting it wrong can cost your business up to £20,000 per incident and/or possible imprisonment.
  2. Checks that verify the qualifications, experiences and achievements of the candidate: Employment and Activity Check, Education and Credential Verification, and Reference checks. These ensure that the candidate has the required knowledge and skills for the position and can also give an invaluable insight into the applicant’s work ethic, integrity and personality.
  3. Checks that protect the safety and integrity of your business: Criminal Record Checks, Credit Checks and Social Media Searches. These checks can be crucial steps towards any comprehensive employment screening programme. They are particularly important when hiring someone in positions of trust, working with vulnerable population or handling extremely sensitive information.

4. Create an honest and cordial environment

To truly know your candidate, you need to engage in a conversation with them during interview. This starts with creating an inviting environment in which the candidate feels comfortable enough to open up. Get them to talk about something they are passionate about. This will make them feel comfortable and confident enough to talk more freely during the interview and will enable you to collect valuable information.

5. Pay close attention to body language and speech

During interviews candidates tend to be on their best behaviour. Therefore, you need to be attentive to the information they are unconsciously projecting. Their body language can provide you with valuable insight into how they are feeling, the type of person they are or how truly interested they are in your offer. Their language and choice of words can give clues about their personality, values and how they relate to the workplace and others.

6. Listen to the candidate’s questions and feedback

A good interview is less of an interrogation and more of a conversation. A great candidate should have questions about the job, your company and its culture. Depending on how astute these are, they will give you an indication on the candidate’s level of enthusiasm and interest towards the role, the way they diagnose problems and process data.

7. Ask for feedback from a team member

Since the candidate will be part of a team, it is important that you asses the way they interact with other people. Pay attention to language that indicates that the candidate had difficulties working with other colleagues or management in the past. You may decide to have a few team members interview the candidate and involve the line staff manager as much as possible in the screening process, as they are more familiar with the job. Finally, get feedback by getting people to interact with the candidate outside the interview. How did they treat the front desk employee? What was the first impression of those who briefly met the candidate? Did the candidate listen when people spoke? Are they interested in learning about others? If you are requiring the services of an external company for the background screening, what was the candidate’s attitude towards those performing the checks?

8. Willingness to learn

Great candidates are eager and rapid learners. They are voraciously curious and do not shy away from acquiring new skills and tools to improve themselves. These are the type of candidates that can help your company grow and adapt to a rapid evolution of the marketplace by introducing new and innovative ways of thinking.

9. Ask to solve a problem

One of the best ways to determine how a candidate can develop processes and find solutions to problems could be by giving them a project to perform. This will show what the candidate is capable of. It may highlight their problem-solving abilities and will enable you to verify both their skills and their behaviour.

10. Implement a trial period when necessary

Finally, you can implement a trial period into your recruitment process. This will allow you to see your candidates in action and assess their efficiency. It will also provide you with valuable information on their reaction to challenges and being part of a team. It is the ultimate test that will reveal to both you and the candidate if they are right not only for the job, but more importantly, for your company.

These practices can help you hire the best candidate who is the most likely to stay and add value to your company for the long term. They show you a more relevant side of your candidates and enable the applicants to gain a clearer understanding of what the job and your business are about. By making the recruitment process relevant to the role and to the core values of your company, you can ensure you don’t  just hire a good candidate, but you  hire the best candidate for your business.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.