How to Identify the Right Candidate for the Job

Finding the right talent to fill a job role can be challenging, so how do you know when it’s the right fit for your company and the candidate?

In order for your business to thrive, you need to have a committed team of talented individuals who want to be part of your company culture, who adhere to your values and who are self-motivated and passionate about their work – or at the very least, skilled employees who want to do their job to the best of their ability. It’s a tall order.

According to Glassdoor, on average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Recruiters tend to skim these resumes for about 6 seconds, then send a handful of potential hires to their client listing for interview. About 6 people will be interviewed of the 250 who applied and will select only 1 person to fill your job role.

While this is hard for job seekers, it is also challenging for businesses that might be missing out on a great candidate because they don’t really know who they are looking for. As a company wanting to fill a job role, it is important that before you place an advertisement you define exactly what you need from a candidate to ensure that you find the right candidate, for your sake and theirs.

Define What You Want

Hiring managers and recruiters need to work together to determine what the essentials requirements for the job role really are. The average cost per hire for companies is US$4,129, so spending the time to make sure you know what you want is worth the investment. Generally, companies with a low staff turnover rate have happier employees, strong workplace culture and improved growth opportunities.

Rather than creating a laundry list of desirable qualities in a candidate, such as character traits, qualifications and experience, it is more desirable to narrow it down to the essentials. Research shows that men will apply for a job when they meet 60{735f2e4b65c3f1982e3012daf49d8651419bebdced28f8d40dc0564cadc91c3b} of the qualifications, while women only apply if they meet 100{735f2e4b65c3f1982e3012daf49d8651419bebdced28f8d40dc0564cadc91c3b} of the requirements. To have an opportunity to reach out to those people who are more likely to fit with your needs, narrowing the requirements down to the core means that people, in particular women, who might be right for the job will at least apply.

Communicating what you want is the first step to finding the right hire. Take a look at the person or people who are already in the role. If they are the right fit, ask yourself why? What other qualities would you like to see a person bring to the role? If the current person is not the right fit ask why? What are the keys to success in that job role and in your organization overall? What do you want a new hire to bring to your organization and the job role?

Evaluate candidates’ skills

Liking a person in an interview situation is not a good reason to offer them a job. People will put their best foot forward in an interview, and want to impress you. For many job roles, one of the most important assets a candidate can possess is interpersonal skills. In 2016, a job report by Pew Research said that jobs requiring both social and analytical skills have grown 94{735f2e4b65c3f1982e3012daf49d8651419bebdced28f8d40dc0564cadc91c3b} since 1980. It is becoming increasingly important that people understand and respect the many nuances of workplace environments, and there are some job roles that require soft skills more than others.

For example, if your company had identified the need for a marketing department, functional manager, to oversee growth, you would likely search for a candidate who had:

  • Expert knowledge of marketing (traditional and digital with a minimum of 8 years of industry experience at a managerial level)
  • Highly developed organizational skills
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Self-motivated disposition
  • Keen critical analysis skills

Of these 5 desirable traits in a hire, 3 are focused on interpersonal skills. That is because the job role requires the candidate to be a mentor, to have the ability to manage and guide people, as well as use their skills to forecast and make executive-level decisions on a regular basis. Finding such a suitable person is difficult, and that is why you need to be certain of what you want the candidate to offer your organization.

Hire passionate people

“Why do you want to work for us?” This is one of the most important questions you can ask during an interview. It will reveal much about the candidate. People who are passionate about their work, and want a job with your organization, will research your company before the interview – sometimes they might even know something about your business that you don’t.

A person who is passionate about their work is self-motivated, tenacious and committed. Such people just want the opportunity to work in what they love, be that in a skilled or an unskilled position. If your candidate has only the minimum level of skills and experience needed but shows real enthusiasm and understanding of the job role, they are likely a passionate person who is interested in the work.

To identify who is a good interviewee and who is a suitable passionate candidate, seek the person who:

  • Knows what your company values are
  • Has (at the minimum) read your website
  • Understands how your company values align with their personal values
  • Asks inquisitive questions about your company that cannot be found online – such as non-sensitive statistics regarding monthly output levels, for example
  • Follows up for a response from you within 2 days after the interview (if you have not contacted them)

Of course, hiring a person who is passionate during an interview is not the only qualification that you should require of a candidate, but if that drive is there, the hire is more likely to commit to your company long term, even potentially building a career with your company if the organization offers such opportunities.

Identify the disconnection

One of the biggest problems employers face is that they often fail to understand what really motivates job candidates and employees.

What is most attractive to prospective hires? According to a 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study by MRI Network on company culture statistics, what recruiters think job candidates want and what people actually want rarely line up.

To avoid all the confusion and find the right hire for your company, ask people direct questions about the things that matter to them, such as remuneration expectations, leave, work environment preferences, on the job training and career advancement opportunities. If what you offer falls far short of the candidate’s expectations, you will know that the relationship is incompatible.

Even if this candidate has all the skills, drive and qualities that you want in a new hire, if you cannot meet their expectations for remuneration, work-life balance and opportunities you will not keep the person in the job long term, and you will need to spend time and money finding a new hire, as well as potentially tarnish your company reputation with a high staff turn over rate.