Recruiting The Perfect Person

Recruiting The Perfect Person

Anyone who has recruited will know just how hard this is. You can describe the perfect candidate, even picture them, you know their background and ambitions - but finding them seems almost impossible and every "near miss" just seems to add to the disappointment.

Why is this? Most of us start off with the absolute ideal as far as skills and personality are concerned. As mentioned earlier, this approach will almost always make the process less than successful as the perfect person with skills in all the relevant areas, may have a personality that doesn’t fit. In addition, if the person is already at the level of the job it is quite possible that they won’t be happy for long in that position before they ask for promotion or "something different.

One of the most difficult and yet the most important aspects of recruiting is the interview. Not many of us have much experience in this area and yet we rely heavily on this one hour to give us all the answers about a potential candidate.

A couple of ideas:

  • be as prepared as possible before hand
  • try drafting some competency based or targeted selection questions. This is really only useful if you can identify the important skills beforehand, and apply the same questions to every interviewee.
  • don’t rely on written references (I have never seen a bad one) and if you are not sure about somebody, ask them to come and spend half a day in the job, if possible. Not only will you find out how committed they are to your job, but everyone else in the office can give their opinion - if you want it!

Alternatively, ask potential candidates to write a one page submission on why they want the job. Never fails to sort the don’t cares from the serious ones!

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