Failure to plan will always result in failure. I feel that this statement is also true for the interview process. People who are involved in the interview process need to have read the CV before the interview takes place and already have questions written down that they wish to ask the candidate.
Before you even get to looking at the CVs, Recruiters need to know their client’s Job Specifications backwards. They need to know what the key, non-negotiable skills are and most importantly understand the company culture of the client. This would have to be determined by visiting the client site and getting a ‘feel’ for the type of people working there. The soft skills are often not mentioned on the Job Spec, but need to be ascertained by asking the Line Manager/HR probing questions about the type of person that would best fit into their environment.
5 Tips for Identifying the Right Candidates:
- Fit the personality to the job – For us culture fit is the most important factor to get right with the client. The kind of individual you want to join your team would be better suited it they fit the company’s culture upfront rather than trying to make them fit later. Identify the most important culture elements for your company and fit the personality to this before you consider the candidate for the position.
- Identify the core set of skills out of the full skillset required for a position. For example, is C# a non-negotiable requirement or is it merely advantageous to have? Then focus on the core skills in order to screen the candidates. This will allow you to widen your scope to include candidates that have better personality traits; are more results driven and may have the correct attributes for the role you need to fill. This candidate may have been overlooked due to a shortage on their skills page or due to skills that have not been clearly defined by the candidate.
- Let the candidates ask questions about the role and the company. It helps to gauge their level of enthusiasm during the interview. You want to hear positive statements about their ability to learn and grow rather than questions about the offer etc. Engaged and enthusiastic candidates that are driven to succeed will always be more productive employees.
- Gauge the candidate’s potential. How do they act in social situations (maybe take them for a drink with the team?), how do they navigate and work with others? If they can freely express themselves and carry the situation well, then you are looking at a more positive candidate to consider. Listen carefully for clues about what they have to say about past employers; how they feel about past colleagues and the past company they worked for.
- Understand what you want out of the screening process. Define what you want to know about the candidates and consider the various screening mechanisms and tests that you could use to determine the candidate’s level of skills and personality type.