Guest Blog Post - Recruiting the Candidate – Five things many employers do not do well….

Thanks to Peter Cosgrove,  Director CPL for this blog post!

For certain skill-sets there is a lack of supply of good people, here are 5 things that employers regularly fall foul of, so even when they have the candidates they often cannot find the right person. 

Job specification:  All jobs require there to be some sort of a job specification as this is what helps the prospective candidates understand the role. Many job specs are out of date, do not really highlight what the job entails and are often written by someone who is not close enough to want the job is – line managers should sign off on all their own job specifications as they truly know what they need,. A line manager needs to be fully involved in the hiring process and not leave it to the HR Department.

References – the amount of times I receive a reference check and it is a tick-box exercise where you can hear the other person who is regularly not the prospective boss asking standard questions. It amazes me that one of the best ways to find about a person is the three year interview they just did at their last company. Despite the fact that more companies are not giving references, it is critical to find out as much as you can about the person at their last job – this is information you cannot easily gauge at interview .

Lack of awareness of the company brand – interviewing a candidate is not all about your company. Guess what - just because you believe you are a great company to work for does not mean everyone else does. What will help is a strong first impression, a passionate interviewer, a company that seems to care about the person they are interviewing and one who actually interviews that candidate. Good candidates want to be interviewed and challenged, they want to feel they earned the job so give them a strong interview and a great first impression.

Wanting a replica of the person who has just left – “We want someone like Bob” is a well heard phrase. Try to think about your vacancy, what you really want is Bob from three years ago, as Bob today knows everything about the job and is leaving, so you will not get someone like him. If the person can already do the job, then they should not and most likely won’t want it.

Assessing the candidate: Interviews are poor indicators of the quality of the hire, a Belgian survey highlighted that an interview had about a 25-30% success rate whereas an assessment centre brought his up to 63%. It makes sense that if you test someone through psychometrics, see how they perform in a group, give them a task to perform in a live environment and also interview them , you are more likely to get the person you want – but only if you know how to set these assessments up fairly and appropriately,
Great people are very hard to find – don’t make it harder by not doing the basics right.