Conducting an interview has become an art form. Many recruiters have their own specific interview routines and not all of them are the same. There is an allotted amount of time you have to discover who a person is and how they will mesh with your business, so performing a top-notch interview is the best way to understand who a candidate is.
Picking the right candidate can make all the difference for your business, but unfortunately, there are many ways recruiters can make mistakes during the applicant screening process. These are general mistakes recruiters make, but there are ways to avoid these common mistakes.
An overwhelming job description
Finding the best possible candidate for a position should be a major goal for a hiring manager. An applicant should ideally meet all the requirements of the job description and seem like a good for the company’s culture. However, a company may overload their job descriptions with too much information, thus hurting the recruitment process.
The best practice for a recruiter or hiring manager to take is to lay out the basics. TLNT says that a perfect job description should be as simple as describing an employee’s responsibilities. Stripping a job description down to the basics will help draw in the best contenders.
Not having a fine tuned interview model
Having a good rapport with a potential candidate can help improve the interview process, but going into the interview without a well crafted game plan may have a negative impact on the recruitment process. No preparation can also lead to a quick hire, which may not be best for business.
Instead, interviewers should prepare themselves by creating a concise list of questions that ask candidates about their professional experience, as well as a few that address their personalities. Asking both these groups of questions can help keep an interview flexible and help a recruiter determine whether a candidate is right for the position.
Not having A thorough vetting process
Making a quick hire may fill an opening in a company, but this may lead to a wrong hire. Whether the number of candidates are thin or plentiful, a hiring manager should make sure they interview a future employee more than once.
A good process to consider is to conduct a phone or email interview first to get a feel for the candidate’s skills and personality. Once a recruiter understands who a person is and what they can bring to the company, inviting them in for an in-person interview will be the next step.
Going off a Gut feeling
A prospective candidate for a job will have a number of intangible qualities that don’t show through on paper. A hiring manager may notice these during an interview and feel as if this is a stand-out quality. But going with a “gut feeling” may be harmful to the recruitment process.
In order to bypass making a gut decision that may lead to a poor hire, create a selection process that encompasses both qualitative and quantitative components. Making a short exam that tests an applicants skills can help determine if the candidate is up for the responsibilities of the position. Along with determining their quantitative abilities, recruiters may want to make a list of body language qualities. A great deal of communication is made up of body language and nonverbal actions. Paying close attention to a candidate’s eye contact, posture and gestures can help determine whether a person will fit in with the company.
Being overly critical
A recruiter’s worst enemy can be their own expectations. TLNT says that too many times a hiring manager will not select a candidate because they believe they don’t meet their high level of expectations. It’s great to want the best candidate possible, but being too picky can prolong the hiring process and stunt a company’s growth.
The best way for a hiring manager to combat this is to get out of their own head. Being critical is an important aspect of the hiring process, but over thinking each candidate can prevent a company from making the right hire. Recruiters may want to combat this by having a second employee to help them in an interview process. Getting a second opinion can improve decision making and provide a different perspective on an applicant.
When businesses begin their applicant screening process, they will want to find the best possible candidates for the job. Stocking up a talent pool with the finest applicants can improve a business for years to come. As a business continues to grow, hiring managers and recruiters should fine tune their hiring practices. The standard process of having a phone interview and then a one-on-one chat is a very standard practice for many businesses, but adding new recruiting and interview techniques can add to a hiring manager’s repertoire.
Commencing the same hiring techniques over and over may work for some hiring managers, but it may leave some in a rut, thus causing them to hire the same type of applicants time and time again. Here are a few unique interview and hiring techniques to find a great new hire:
The world of social media
The use of social media has become a prominent tool in the business world. Many companies have their own Facebook pages or Twitter accounts to relay new information. Recruiters can also post job listings on their social media sites to find new candidates.
Using social media can be a great way for a company to improve its brand, but it can also be used to sift through potential employees. As opposed to combing through hundreds of resumes, a recruiter may want to investigate the use of recruiting software, which can sift through social media accounts to find appropriate candidates Finding standout candidates through these online platforms is also a great way to directly connect with an applicant. A resume can only say so much about a person, but the world of social media can inform a recruiter about quite a bit more.
Simply asking other employees whether they know qualified candidates can be a quick and simple way to find the next hire. A seasoned employee may know applicants in their field and trusting someone who has been through the rigors of the job and understands the corporate culture can help a recruiter find high-quality applicants. Hiring managers may also want to consider adding a an employee referral award to this process, too, which will encourage current employees to actively engage in the talent screening process.
Scheduling a phone interview as a preemptive step is a great step to take in the hiring process. This lets an HR professional get to know the candidate and determine whether they are ready to be brought in for a one-on-one meeting. But this process can take up a lot of time and prolong the hiring process, especially if there is a long list of candidates to sort through.
A one-on-one can be a great way to learn about a person, but this type of interview may not necessarily help a recruiter determine if the applicant will get along with the whole office. A group interview can allow employers to see how candidates interact in a social setting. This type of interview can range from a general discussion about the company, or an activity that can gauge a person’s skills pertaining to the job. Seeing how a candidate interacts with a group can give a recruiter great insight in how they will work with other coworkers.
Quite frequently, companies require a candidate to have strong writing skills. A candidate can put on their resume that they excel in producing quality writing work, but taking them at their word may be a little risky. A hiring manager may want to give an applicant a writing test during the hiring screening process. Along with preparing a writing exam, recruiters can create a quick list of skills required to succeed in a specific position. These can range from sending proper emails to coworkers to making calls to clients. Preparing a quick assignment for a candidate that mirrors their potential on-the-job work will give recruiters a better assessment of whether they can handle the rigors of the role and help to weed out underqualified applicants.
Investigate outside the usual parameters
Recruiters can find a whole new slew of candidates by increasing their search radius. Looking outside the normal field of candidates can be a great way to find already trained applicants and help inject new ideas into the company. Candidates from similar fields may already have skills that pertain to the open position , so it will be simpler for a business to train them.
There is only so much a hiring manager can learn about a candidate during an interview. Whether the chat only lasts 10 minutes or goes on for an hour, this amount of time may not be enough to understand the scope of who a person truly is. Even if a hiring manager thinks they know someone inside and out, it doesn’t hurt to do a little more research on candidate’s qualifications. One way to help determine whether someone is right for a position is to conduct a background check.
A background check can be a great tool for a recruiter to use in the hiring screening process. An employment background check can help a recruiter discover more about a candidate’s qualifications or to make sure they are who they say they are. Although this can be a great instrument to use during the hiring process, recruiters should be mindful not to make any mistakes. A mishap in the background research phase of a hire can happen here and there, but following these practices can help a recruiter in the long run:
Ask permission beforehand
Before conducting a background check, a hiring manager should ask the candidate for permission. A background check can still be conducted without a candidate’s permission, but this may lessen the amount of attainable information. Federal and state statutes will limit the amount of information a hiring manager can find if they do not ask for permission. Also, conducting an unsanctioned check may also result in lawsuits against the company and the hiring manager.
Ask for as much information as possible
The goal of a background check is to learn as much as possible about a future employee. Going through this process and only looking at a few resources may hurt a hiring manager more than it will help them.
As a hiring manager is preparing to fill out an application for a background check, they should think about all the areas of information they need to help in their hiring process. Asking for specific information such employment history and even a criminal record will not only help a HR know more about a person, but it will also make the hiring process all the more easier.
Try different resources
Hiring managers shouldn’t limit their search to one resource. Looking at all available documents about a person can give recruiters a better picture of who a person is. There are many resources an HR representative can use to fuel their research. These resources can include a candidate’s education, employment, criminal record and even driving history. A recruiter can also do a little of their own research by calling references or searching through social media for information on an applicant.
Verify every piece of information
It is great for a hiring manager to be extremely thorough in their research of a candidate, but taking everything at its word may not be the best route to take. The next step in this process is to go over every single resource and verify the information. Scanning through a candidate’s employment history, finding an inaccuracy and then fact checking this with another party can greatly help a recruiter in their candidate search. Along with looking over the documents themselves, a recruiter may want to invest in a background screening company in order to help with their search. Having another set of eyes to go over a candidate’s background information can aid a hiring manager’s search. Another and equally important way to verify a background check is to ask candidates about any troubling information that may have popped up during the search. Candidates should always be given a chance to defend themselves.
Consistency is key
Remaining consistent in background techniques can improve the research process and help a hiring manager in their duties. However, performing completely different background checks on two candidates for the same position may be counterproductive to the process. Different types of background checks may be used for particular field of work, but using the same background check methods consistently can help a recruiter out in the long run.
Failure to communicate
As a hiring manager is looking over a candidate’s information for verification, a great practice is writing down any standout items. Seeing some ill marks on a candidate’s employment or education background may raise a few concerns. A great way for recruiters to find out more about any unsettling facts is to ask the candidate about them. Having a quick chat with the candidate and addressing any troubling findings can help a hiring manager alleviate a recruiter’s fears and continue the interview process.
As many smart companies have come to know, the applicant screening process can begin before candidates even finish their degrees. Over the past several years, however, college recruiting has taken a decline, TLNT reported. During this time, there have been few strategic changes to college recruiting, but if an organization wants to bring in talent before they hit the job market, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are a few tips on how to recruit the best and brightest and stay ahead of the competition.
Go mobile for recruitment
One of the major differences between current college students and those from just a decade ago is the mobile effect. Smart phones are extremely popular among this younger generation, and employers can easily reach potential applicants via mobile communications. It’s common that many in college carry their cell phones with them constantly, responding quickly to messages and accessing a variety of media platforms from the palm of their hand.
Hiring managers should take advantage of this practice, publicizing open positions and communicating directly with potential applicants via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, text messages and emails. TLNT points out that the point is that recruiters need to be catering to the needs of the applicants, rather than the other way around. An easy way to do this is to communicate with them on media platforms they are fond of and use often.
Understand the target audience
Many employers erroneously believe they understand college students and what they’re looking for in a job. However, this often leads hiring managers to categorize college students as one group lacking differences and unique interests. This can be damaging to a company trying to recruit college students and recent grads, making a company look out of touch and uncaring.
To combat these effects, a company can use market research techniques to find out exactly what college students are after in an ideal employer. A company can regularly conduct surveys and look into research that has already been done on the subject, focusing on how millennials perceive companies during a recruitment process, and what kinds of benefits they are most interested in gaining from a new employer.
Utilize software solutions
Trying to balance a variety of unknown factors when recruiting college students can be difficult, particularly if lacking the right tools for success. Companies can use recruiting software from Findly to streamline the hiring process. Recruiting software is as modern as college job candidates - the software is able to dig through resumes, social media profiles, online job boards and more, gathering information on applicants, including their interests and activities. This can improve communication between companies and recruits, piquing the interest of college students and recent graduates. Recruiting software personalizes and automates communications, improving the talent screening process from beginning to end.
The talent screening process can be complicated. Recruiters are often left trying to balance company interests, brand reputation and a hiring timetable to quickly locate a new candidate for employment. Over the years, recruiters have learned a variety of lessons, but a new study from CareerBuilder has revealed a few secrets many companies may not be aware of.
1. Mobile recruiting is a necessity
Nearly 40 percent of employers have jobs that are left unfilled for four months or longer, the Career Builder survey found. These companies go without new hires, citing difficulty finding candidates with appropriate skill sets. While it can be tough to find the perfect applicant, the study indicated many of these troubles may be caused by companies neglecting to go mobile.
According to the report, more than 50 percent of job seekers with mobile devices spend three hours or more looking for new career opportunities on their smart devices each week. What’s more troubling for companies without mobile-ready sites is the fact that 65 percent of respondents who look for jobs on their mobile devices said they will leave a website if it is not mobile friendly. Around 40 percent said not having a mobile-ready site also gives them a negative opinion of the company. This can greatly affect the efficacy of the applicant screening process.
2. Candidates want flexibility
From the applicant screening process to benefits and work schedules, candidates are looking for flexibility in a new employer. According to the survey, 72 percent of job seekers said it’s important that an organization offer flexible scheduling, and that this would affect their decision of whether to take a position.
Around 44 percent of respondents said it’s important that the company offers telecommuting options, and that this would be a major benefit to them when considering a position.
Hiring managers the world over seem to have asked the same questions for years during the applicant screening process: Why do you think you would be a good fit for the company? What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? How did you hear about the position?
While these questions are a fine start to the interview process, there are questions that are much better at finding out important information about a candidate. According to Entrepreneur, successful businesses have found original ways to gauge an applicant’s skills and fit for any given position.
1. What is your dream job?
Rather than asking where a candidate sees themselves in five years, which will usually garner flattering rather than accurate responses, asking an applicant about their dream role may result in more honest answers.
During an interview, a hiring manager can ask this question and emphasize that there is no wrong answer, and that a candidate should answer honestly and not flatter the interviewer by saying the role they’re interviewing is their ideal role. Candid responses will indicate if an interviewee is interested in working hard, what skills they would like to hone and how their past experiences have helped them get to where they are today. These are valuable insights and also show a candidate a company that cares.
2. What do you want out of this position?
This question gears the interview toward the candidate themselves, and will reveal important information from the candidate. An applicant may say they want to develop their career, or that they are looking for a role in which they can use their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses, or may prompt them to give ideas of projects they would ideally like to work on.
This question will also demonstrate if a candidate would be happy in the position they are interviewing for, and as Entrepreneur states, when employees are happy at work, they are more likely to succeed.
3. When have your passions allowed you to forget about the rest of the world?
According to Forbes, one of the most important questions to ask a candidate is when in their lives they have been so passionate about an activity that they lost track of time and could tune out the rest of the world?
This answer can show employers if a potential applicant is truly passionate about the field, if they can get excited about their professional ambitions, and if they’re right for the job. It can also let an employer know how a candidate’s skills can match up with the position. For example, if a candidate is interviewing for a position at a nonprofit and they say they have been passionate enough about a volunteering or fundraising project that they have lost track of the hours, they may just be the right candidate for the job.
Slakey to Leverage Extensive Client Service and Entrepreneurial Experience in New Role
SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 3, 2014) - Findly, the on demand talent market leader and a Symphony Technology Group (STG) company, announced today that Paul Slakey has joined the company as its new Executive Vice President of Account Services. In this strategic role, he is responsible for overseeing Findly’s existing Account Services functions and leading the newly created Strategic Accounts, Customer Success and Renewals divisions.
Slakey brings a wealth of leadership experience to Findly, having held key positions with some of the most successful companies in the world. He most recently served as Director of Global Solutions and Services for LinkedIn, where he led pre- and post-sales services. Prior to LinkedIn, Slakey held leadership positions in the Enterprise division of Google, which included responsibility for channel sales and partnerships, and sales management in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. Earlier in his career, he was a management consultant at McKinsey and a venture capitalist at Vanguard Ventures. Slakey also held sales, business development, product management and executive leadership roles with large companies such as HP and Progress Software, as well as venture-backed companies including Flypaper and Starlight Networks.
Slakey holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
“As Findly continues to bring much needed innovation to the talent acquisition space and extend the reach of our solutions to new markets, it is crucial that we have the right talent in place to guide these efforts,” said Jeff Russakow, CEO of Findly. “Given his extensive experience in leading some of the most recognizable companies to success, Paul’s contributions will help keep Findly focused on its customers and market opportunities.”
“Employers face an increasing number of challenges in finding and retaining top employees, and Findly’s advanced solutions help to address those difficulties by connecting companies with needed talent,” said Slakey. “I am very excited to join Findly during this time of rapid growth, and I look forward to guiding the company’s efforts to expand its client base.”
Findly leads the world in talent acquisition innovation. Findly’s award-winning solutions combine unrivaled mobile and social capabilities, employer brand strategy, creative, digital and media placement with applicant tracking and assessments to address the challenge of finding the right talent at the push of a button. Built for today’s digitally savvy and highly mobile workforce, Findly delivers a compelling unified platform of technology and services to acquire, manage, screen and engage only warm candidates. The result is a more strategic use of talent and enhanced competitive advantage. Learn more at http://www.findly.com.
About Symphony Technology Group
Symphony Technology Group (STG) is a strategic private equity firm with the mission of investing in and being a partner in building great software and services companies. In addition to capital, STG provides transformation expertise to enable its portfolio companies to deliver more value to clients to retain and attract the best talent and to achieve best-in-class business performance. All STG portfolio companies are expected to grow through innovation. STG’s current portfolio consists of 12 global companies with combined revenue of approximately $2.5 billion and thousands of employees spread across North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.symphonytg.com.
Finding the perfect candidate for a job is about more than just sorting through resumes and bringing in applicants who write the strongest cover letter. Instead, the talent screening process requires hiring managers to read through the lines and ask the right questions to assess an applicant's skill set.
According to TLNT, the skills gap is the difference between the requirements for a position and an individual's skills that don't quite meet those requirements. While these qualities should be easy to find in a candidate's resume or by speaking to them, many candidates wind up in positions they're not qualified for as a result of inefficient or lacking applicant screening processes. Below are a few ways recruiters can make sure they're getting the full picture on a candidate's skill set.
Read the resume deeply
Before calling in scores of applicants who may vaguely fit the qualifications listed in a job posting, it's essential to thoroughly read through an applicant's resume, cover letter, writing samples or other materials requested by a company. The resume is the first thing a hiring manager should look at when trying to find the right person for a job, and it's important to take longer than a few seconds to gather all the information necessary. That's why it's essential to take some time and really look through a candidate's qualities.
Perhaps a current job title is impressive, but what about the daily duties of the position? These may not match the title and should be noted. Or the opposite may be true and an applicant may have completed tasks and large-scale projects that perfectly match the skills needed for a position, but are without an impressive title. Regardless of the outcome of the resume review, it's vital to take a close look at each and every one.
Ask better questions
Once a candidate has been asked in for an interview, an HR professional or executive needs to ask the right questions to gather pertinent information. Companies often ask questions that are irrelevant to a skills assessment.
According to TLNT, some of the more common questions interviewers ask individuals are also some of the least valuable. These include asking why an applicant wants to work for the company, when a candidate can begin working and when someone can start in their new position.
Instead, businesses should ask more in depth questions about resumes, previous positions and skill sets that are needed to succeed in the workplace.
Offer skill development training
The reality is, sometimes the best candidate for the job doesn't fit every single job requirement as listed in a posting. Maybe they have excellent public speaking skills and have a strong history of client communications, but are not proficient in database work or have never used Microsoft Access. This shouldn't rule them out completely, especially if they seem like an ideal fit for a position.
Companies would be smart to offer training sessions for these candidates as part of their first few weeks transitioning into the role.
Findly is an on-demand solution for companies who need to hire the right talent at the push of a button.
The talent screening process, while necessary, can also be inordinately expensive. For companies trying to save money, spending extra time and energy on hiring can seem like a waste of funds. Hiring doesn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive, however – here are a few tips on how to save money during the applicant screening process.
Play up company strengths to bring in top applicants
As the economy continues to improve, top candidates will be able to be more selective during hiring, able to choose from multiple job offers. This is even more true for candidates who are already employed, as they can take their time trying to find a new job. So how can a company on a budget draw in top applicants without being able to offer extremely high salaries? Entrepreneur magazine recommends attracting top candidates by showing them a company only hires the best, and grabbing potential hires by creating an emotional tie to the organization.
For example, a nonprofit may not be able to offer a six-figure salary to a legal professional they need on staff, but with the right wording, this may not be a deal breaker for some. In the job listing, a company can write down their mission statement, whether it’s philanthropic or geared toward development. This can entice workers who may be willing to take a pay cut to work for an organization they respect and admire.
Advertise room for growth
Organizations without a large budget for hiring and salaries have to get creative during the applicant screening process. One of the best ways to attract top candidates without overspending on salaries is to promote mobility at an organization. Talented job-seekers are often looking to work for companies where they can eventually move up through the ranks, learning and developing their skills along the way. A company on a budget should advertise upward mobility during the hiring process to lure in top candidates.
Recruiting software can quickly make the hiring process less expensive. Software from Findly takes much of the hard work out of recruiting, automating the search period and communicating with potential applicants regularly. When a company uses recruiting software, it works around the clock to find a number of possible candidates for an open position.
While an HR team is focusing on internal operations, employee management and the daily tasks of running a business, recruiting software from Findly continues to work, searching through social media profiles, job boards and other online resources to find high-quality professionals who are right for the job. This saves companies time and money, as HR representatives are free to carry out the rest of their regular jobs without spending hours each day sifting through piles of resumes and cover letters from under-qualified applicants.