Recruitment solutions
How to find the right candidate
How to find the right candidate Email this to a friend
If you want your business to be successful in the long term, it is absolutely crucial to hire the right people. No matter how good your products or services are, in the long term they will not be effectively made, sold or delivered if you do not have the right people in the right places. Here are a few tips to provide guidance and best practice on recruiting and selecting the right member of staff for your business.
Determine the need to hire a new employee
You find answers to questions like - are you properly utilizing your employees to their full capacity? Can you afford to hire a new employee? Do you need a new position to be filled? Do you need strategic thinker? Do you need to solve a retention problem? Do you need someone who can provide you technical expertise, etc?
Conduct a thorough job analysis and write the job description and job specification
This would help you to determine the job essential functions and key performance (core competencies) criteria for success in the position.
Make a checklist of core competencies
Core competencies give you a better insight than the job description by clearly describing the distinctive and essential requirements of the position. Consider the following categories while developing the core competencies:
  • Skills and abilities
  • Level of knowledge and experience required
  • List of desired attitudes, behaviors and motivational qualities
  • Professional and personal values
  • Emotional Intelligence
Determine the salary range for the position
The salary range can be based on how you value the job and how much you can afford to pay. The salary should be comparable to what you pay to the current employees as well as what the competition is offering.
Decide the recruitment method to be used
Depending upon the time frame for conducting your search, you can decide the best way to recruit. The various recruitment methods that can be used are campus recruitments, recruitment through job centers and recruitment agents, advertisements (newspaper, job posting on job sites, ads on websites related to positions recruited), database search on job sites, employee referral, contract staffing, word of mouth and internal recruitment.
Collect and evaluate job applications and resumes
This would help you to select the most eligible candidates to be interviewed. This can be effectively and quickly done by determining the evaluation criteria by referring to the job description. The criteria can be based on:
  • Technical - Does the candidate have the necessary or relevant education and training in order to succeed in the job?
  • Experience - Is the candidate’s work experience relevant to the job or how does his work history resonate at your organization?
  • Personal - Has the candidate displayed examples of when they have used their skills and abilities in a business scenario?
Use psychological and other career tests to find better qualified candidates
If you wish, you may carry out psychological or other career tests to find better candidates. These tests help in determining the candidates:
  • Analytical, conceptual, verbal and numerical abilities.
  • Traits, attributes, temperament and various personal characteristics.
  • Underlining needs and motives - "what drives their behaviour"
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Leadership style, management profile, etc.
Interview preparation
  • Know what you are looking for in a candidate and review the job description and requirements.
  • Review the candidates resume prior to the interview; look out for any red flags and check references if provided.
  • Make a competency questionnaire having a list of standard questions relating to the candidate’s education, skills, abilities and work experience.
  • Decide the type of interview to be used.
  • Prepare a list of prioritized and measurable criteria to rate the candidates.
  • If possible, have a minimum of two interviewers present to eliminate any personal biases and make sure they identify with and accept the competency profile.
  • Have your interview kit ready. This would include the candidates resume, job description with details about shift, working hours, job location etc., a competency questionnaire, a pen and a worksheet.
General guidelines to conduct an interview
  • Look and act professional at all times.
  • Follow the 80-20 rule. Let the candidate talk for 80% of the time and you only talk for 20% of the time.
  • Interview should be held in a private room and ensure there aren’t any interruptions or noises. 
  • Begin the interview on time and allow sufficient time for the interview.
  • Show genuine interest in each candidate and acknowledge their accomplishments, however, do not patronize them.
  • If the interview heads in the wrong direction, conclude it early but do not get into an argument.
Start of the interview
  • Welcome the candidate, offer them a drink and try to establish a rapport with some casual conversation. This would allow the candidate to settle down and would lead to a free-flowing conversation and they shall be able to present themselves in the best light.
  • Introduce yourself and any other interviewer by name and position.
  • Thank the candidate for their time and interest.
  • Briefly explain the interview process and the likely duration.
  • Introduce your organization in the best possible way to increase the desire in the candidate to work with you.
  • You may ask the candidate a few questions to find out if they have done any prior research about your company and the position.
  • Give the candidate an overview of the position and at the same time, try not to give too much information upfront so as to allow the candidate to formulate answers that precisely fit your company needs. State the purpose of filling the position (new position/ replacement/ technical expertise, etc.) and the main duties and responsibilities. Tell them about your requirements in terms of shifts, working hours, job location etc.
  • Check with the candidate if they are able to meet these requirements to avoid any future problems, if not, you may terminate the interview.
Asking questions
  • Use the competency questionnaire and ask the candidates only those standard questions so that you are able to appraise fairly and that candidates are treated equally.
  • Ask questions relating to the candidate’s past performance, aptitude, and particular skills needed for success in the position.
  • Ask questions in regards to the difficulties he may encounter during the course of this new job and how he would react in those circumstances.
  • Ask questions about any negatives such as gaps in employment dates, reasons for leaving the employer etc.
  • Ask the candidates to give examples in order to showcase their skills and abilities. You may ask people with limited work history to use examples from outside the work environment.
  • Ask open-ended questions which will call for some thinking on part of the candidate. This would allow them to express themselves freely and will provide insight into their thoughts.
  • Do not ask discriminating questions. Ask only job related questions. When you are in doubt, ask yourself if the question is job related and if it’s not, then do not ask that question.
  • Ask all important questions in the beginning to avoid missing out on them or cutting down the responses due to time limitation. 
Letting the candidates answer
  • Allow candidates to think before they answer.
  • Let the candidate talk freely when answering questions and try to avoid leading him/her in the direction you would like the answer to go.
Evaluating responses
  • Take note of the candidate’s ability to comprehend and respond to the questions being asked.
  • Notice his communication skills and his choice of words.
  • Make important observations by reading the candidates non verbal communication. Irritability or complacence, positive attitude or negativity, confidence or insecurity, professionalism or unprofessionalism show in gestures, in tone of voice, in speed of speech and actions.
  • Listen attentively to candidates responses. If you are not satisfied with their responses or you feel there is need to know more, probe until you get the desired result.
  • By evaluating the candidate’s responses, you should be able to gauge the person’s emotional intelligence, if the person has a positive attitude, is resilient, is self-motivated, can work well in a team and has the ability to complete tasks on his own.
  • Take detailed notes and mark responses concerning each competency. You can mark the candidates for each competency against four grades to find out their depth of knowledge and experience. The four grades are:
  • Done it - The candidate has the skill and knowledge. He has applied it in the real work environment and found out solutions to the problems they faced.
  • Seen it - The candidate has the skill and basic knowledge. He has not had an opportunity to apply it, however, he has observed others applying it in a number of situations and he would be able to do the same when his turn comes.
  • Knows about it - the candidate is familiar with the concept and has a fair idea about how he should react to different situations.
  • None - Neither does the candidate have any knowledge nor does he have experience in the respective competency or behaviour.
Salary negotiation
  • If you find the candidate suitable, you should discuss the salary at this stage even if there is a possibility that you may not make the final offer. This is the best situation for you to be in as you have not made the offer yet and have not put in a lot of time, effort or money into the process. Be prepared to go through a couple of rounds of negotiation to reach a salary agreement.
Closing the interview
  • Ask the candidate if he has any questions. Take note of the first few questions that he asks as they might be of prime concern to him.
  • Inform the candidate about the next stage in the selection process, e.g. if you need to review all elements prior to making a recommendation or arriving at a decision, or if the candidate will need to go through another round of interview.
  • Give the candidate a time frame within which he will receive feedback. See out the candidate and thank them for their time.
After the interview
  • After the candidate leaves, go back to your notes without being distracted. Organize and analyze the information and assign final marks against each competency.
  • Note your approval and concerns on the interview sheet. If another person took part in the interview, you must both note your approvals and concerns and consult with each other to arrive on the final decision.
  • Immediately after this, provide prompt feedback to the candidate or the agency you are dealing with.
  • If the candidate needs to go through another round of interview with another interviewer, or you feel he is good enough but have doubts in certain areas, call the candidate back for a second round of interview.
Making the job offer
Initial job offers may be made over the telephone. This will also help to demonstrate your eagerness to hire the candidate. You can reiterate the terms of employment to avoid any misunderstanding and to see if the offer is acceptable to the candidate. 

After you reach a verbal agreement, you can send out the offer letter stating the terms agreed upon. Be careful about what you commit in writing as the offer letter could kind of become a legally binding employment contract, should there be a disagreement later on about what you offered as against what the candidate received on the job.
The offer letter should include the following:
  • Name of the employee and their job title.
  • Start date of employment and end date if it’s a temporary role
  • Duration of the probation period (if applicable)
  • Salary or wage, benefits and perks offered.
  • Any conditions the offer is subject to.
  • Any action required on part of the candidate such as providing previous employment details etc.
  • Instructions to accept or decline the offer.
Background checks
You should always do a number of checks on candidates to validate and confirm their suitability to join your organization.
  • Reference check - Check with at least two previous employers to find out if they actually did work with them for the specified time period.
  • Medical examination - You can conduct a medical examination if you need to determine whether the candidate will be able to perform essential job functions or to trace the use of illegal substances.
  • Criminal record - You can check the candidates criminal history to ascertain his trustworthiness. This could be done when the job involves dealing with vulnerable individuals, children, valuable items or high security.
  • Work permits - If the candidate is a foreign national, you should make sure he is eligible to work in India.
Informing the unsuccessful candidates
Inform all the unsuccessful candidates and if you reckon some of them may have an opportunity to work with you in the future, ask them if you can retain their details. By doing this, you could save a lot of time and effort in the future and it will be easy for you to find a replacement if the newly hired employee doesn’t perform as per your expectations.
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