finding the perfect job candidate

A hiring manager faces a lot of pressure to find the perfect candidate for an open position. The wrong hiring decision can cost a company thousands of dollars and reduce productivity. For example, hiring the wrong person can cause a 34% drop in productivity and a 39% decline in morale. Forty-one percent of managers claim it costs thousands of dollars to hire an unsuitable candidate, and it can take up to half a year to fill a position.

Even though the recruitment process can be challenging, you can learn how to hire the right candidate the first time around and save your company time, money and effort. Here are some tips and techniques to help you succeed as a hiring manager and help your company grow.

What Do Candidates Look for in an Employer?

If you want to attract high-performers, it helps to know what they want in a company. A high-quality candidate is someone who is experienced, competent and will likely stay with your company for a long time. High-quality candidates often look for the following characteristics in an employer:

  • Compatibility with their values and beliefs.
  • Opportunities to use their skills.
  • Plenty of intellectual and creative challenges.
  • Opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Opportunity to learn and grow

By contrast, low-quality candidates search for employers who fulfill their immediate needs and tend to focus on aspects such as benefits, money and coworkers. By knowing what drives different individuals, you’ll be more likely to find the right person for a position.

signs of a good candidate

Signs a Candidate Is Ideal for the Position

If you know what to look for in a candidate, you can make the hiring process more efficient and less costly. While most hiring managers know to exclude applicants who show up late or seem disinterested, some may not know the signs of an ideal candidate. Keep a lookout for the following qualities in a candidate:

  • Knowledge: A quality candidate will research your company before the interview. They will have realistic expectations and be eager to learn about your organization and its culture. A candidate who genuinely wants to be part of your mission long term will do their homework first.
  • Passion: The right candidate is not only interested in the position for a paycheck, but they are excited about the role and your company. Look for candidates who display enthusiasm and take pride in their work.
  • Honesty: No one is perfect. The right candidate will be honest about their weaknesses and how they’ve learned from their mistakes. They’ll also show a sincere desire to learn and grow. Self-awareness if a great quality to look for.
  • Responsiveness: An excellent candidate won’t waste your time. They will respond quickly to your phone calls and emails and communicate clearly. A high level of responsiveness shows their motivation to work for you and gives you an idea of how they’ll perform on the job.
  • Interest: Candidates will need to talk about themselves and their qualifications during the interview, but they should also show interest in the company. If the interview feels natural, like a conversation, you may have found the right person for the role.
  • Ideas: A great employee will look forward to contributing to the company and helping it grow. It’s a good sign if a candidate brings new ideas to the interview and demonstrates their value immediately.

How to Be a Good Interviewer

Part of hiring candidates is asking the right questions and preparing in advance. Here are ways you can be a more effective interviewer:

  • Determine what you need: Many applicants have several good qualities, but not all candidates have that one trait your company needs most. Before you conduct an interview, know what your company absolutely needs and look for a candidate who will fill that requirement successfully. Prepare a list of attributes and use this information to develop your interview questions.
  • Eliminate surprises: Make sure candidates know exactly what to expect before, during and after the interview. Help them make it there on time, and provide useful information such as parking recommendations or easy-to-understand driving directions. You want to create a positive experience and reduce stress so that each candidate can be at their best during the interview.
  • Research the candidate: Researching the candidate before the interview will help you ask engaging questions and promote conversation. Study each candidate’s resume and know their qualifications, accomplishments, interests and goals.
  • Ask for solutions: Avoid asking generic interview questions, and try to learn how a candidate will handle real situations. Give them an example of a common position-related problem and ask them to describe their solution.

How to Choose the Right Candidate for the Job

Hiring the right candidate all begins with a plan. Make sure to plan the recruiting process first. When you have a hiring plan, you decrease the chance of bringing a mismatched candidate onto the team. Here’s want you can do as you work through the hiring process:

  • Write an eye-catching ad: Write an ad that sells your company and the open position. Use the ad to answer questions candidates might have and to explain how your company differs from others. Include details about growth potential and unique benefits. Also, make sure the ad includes basic information such as the job title, requirements and duties.
  • Screen applicants effectively: Start the process by reviewing resumes and sorting them into “interview” and “do not interview” piles. Avoid reviewing too many resumes at once, so you can evaluate each one carefully. If you’re hiring for a top position, ask other members of management to assess your chosen resumes and take notes.
  • Interview: Schedule short phone interviews with chosen candidates. During the phone call, measure their enthusiasm for the role before scheduling an in-person meeting. Make sure you prepare for the interview and have thoughtful questions planned. You might use an evaluation form to help rate candidates’ qualifications during the interview. For example, you could rate a candidate’s ability to meet the job requirement on a scale from one to five.
  • Check references: Check at least two professional references for each potential employee. Ask about their past duties and responsibilities. Once a former employer feels comfortable speaking with you, ask about the candidate’s strengths and ways they could improve.
  • Ask for a demonstration: Consider asking strong candidates to demonstrate their skills and talents. You might assign an exercise that allows them to perform the duties of the open position.
  • Review: Review all of the data you collected throughout the process. Ask other members of the management team to review your notes and get their recommendations.

Successfully hiring the ideal candidate requires patience and effort. It’s not something you can rush or force. Once you find the right one for the job, make an offer by phone immediately.

How Third-Party Recruiters Can Help You Fill High-Tier Positions

Finding top-level candidates is critical to the success of your company. Individuals in managerial or executive-level positions make decisions that determine a company’s future and culture. It can be extremely challenging to find high-level candidates, as many of these individuals aren’t currently seeking a new job. In addition, many companies compete for top talent. To find executive-level candidates, you need to take an individualized approach and focus on building relationships. This takes patience, effort and determination.

A third-party recruiter can help you locate and secure hard-to-find and highly skilled candidates. They will use tools and techniques to search for candidates, approach them directly and perform assessments to ensure they meet your company’s needs and goals. If you want to save time and reduce risk, you might consider working with a third-party recruiter.

Reaction Search International Can Find the Perfect Fit

Hiring a new employee is an enormous responsibility and a difficult task. Your company depends on your recruiting skills to find a candidate who will contribute to the business and help it grow. At Reaction Search International (RIS), our team of recruiters is ready to save you time, energy and mistakes and find top-level candidates to fill your needs and ensure future success. Our search consultants are industry experts who use a proven 25-step search process to locate and recruit top candidates in a timely manner. To learn more about our recruitment techniques and services, contact us today!

find the perfect fit