HR 24 May 2017

Three small company techniques for recruiting the right candidate

recruitment
Most leaders think that having an ideal set of skills is all that’s needed for a successful candidate

Recruiting the right candidate can be a tricky business. Here, CEO at The Oxford Group, Olivier Herold, gives three tips for employers and managers to remember during the recruitment process.

When you mention the word recruitment to employers, their reaction is likely to be “We do it all the time… what’s the issue?”

It can be incredibly difficult for an employer to end up recruiting the right candidate. Often a new hire will be someone who doesn’t fit with the business, and brings little knowledge and enthusiasm to the team.

Recruiting the wrong person and having them leave again does not only delay work schedules, but it also results in high costs for the company, which are often overlooked, including additional training costs, inefficient work and frustrations in the team.

These all cost money and so it is important for businesses to avoid these problems and aim to be recruiting the right candidate the first time around.

(1) Include exercises that demonstrate behaviours

Most business leaders believe that having an ideal set of skills is all that’s required for a successful candidate. However, through working with countless organisations, I have learnt that it is in fact so much more. Although skills are important, they can be taught, unlike behaviours, attitudes and values, which can’t.

For this reason, it is crucial for employers to assess for behaviours during the hiring process. A great way to do this effectively is to ask the candidates to complete exercises such as group tasks, presentations and role plays which assess how each person responds in different situations.

When assessing exactly what behaviours are ideal, managers should look to the company’s goals. The recruiters should think about what makes people succeed in this particular role and what aspects make them fall by the wayside.

However, these assessment exercises are not just for the recruiter, they are as much for the potential member of staff, as they demonstrate what is involved with the role and what will be required of the job holder. This is a great way of allowing the candidate to decide whether the job is right for them.

(2) Introduce potential candidates to the team

As well as skills and behaviours, for many companies the right “fit” between the candidate and the rest of the team is critical. Regardless of the size of the business, it can be extremely hard to shift someone around if they don’t “click” with their team, which has the potential to cause major issues, even halting growth and development.

This is why introducing potential candidates to the team they will be working with is important before formally offering them the job. Whether this involves bringing a member of the team into the interview process or arranging an informal lunch with a few members of the team, it is a great way for current members of staff to get a feel for the candidate, and vice versa.

Listen to what your existing members of staff think about the candidate. If they feel uncomfortable with them, you run the risk that the new joiner may leave or you may even end up losing existing members of staff.

(3) Don’t recruit a clone of yourself

Although businesses encourage diversity, equality and inclusion, there is always a danger that the recruiter, whether this is an external recruiter, manager or the employer, will recruit the candidate who is most like themselves.

As human beings, we naturally migrate towards people who have very similar beliefs and attitudes with similar backgrounds. However, this actively reduces the diversity of the workforce. Having a broad base of people encourages creativity and innovation in the workplace, promoting growth and development.

A key way to avoid this bias links back to assessment centres and interview exercises. These allow the interviewer to step back and look objectively at the skills, attitudes and behaviours that the role requires.

Interviewers need to be given clear guidelines and rating scales for exactly what the role entails and what behaviours are needed, so as to minimise the risk of swaying towards people they immediately identify with.

Olivier Herold is CEO at The Oxford Group, a global management training consultancy.

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