How to get it right:
- Clearly define the position description: If it's not clear what the role entails, the wrong people will apply for it with potentials slipping through the net.
- Is the offer attractive? You want to attract a large pool of applicants. Put your best foot forward - make sure advertisements are exciting and engaging. Generate multiple leads for the position - advertise in both seek and trademe as well as other forms of media. Don't forget to advertise on your own website!
- Carefully shortlist the potentials. Start by defining the essential criteria, the 'must haves' - then create a list of the 'wants'. Perform an initial screening based on the essential criteria (likely to be qualifications, experience and necessary skill sets). Now refine your shortlist based on certain skills or experience you'd love an applicant to have.
- Weed out those unlikely to fit the terms of the role. If you're looking for a long terms commitment, it's unlikely an applicant with a scattered employment history will fit.
- You may canvass the potentials by phone interview to reduce the shortlist for onsite interviews. Book in a time that suits - don't torpedo them with an impromptu call.
- Interview 5 - 10 hopefuls. Be prepared with notes from each CV and a series of probing questions to extract the best information to aid your decision. Be sure to eqnuire about aspects of their CV that didn't fit the bill.
- Call on the referees! Call at least two and have valuable questions on hand to get the most from the experience.
- Invite the top 3 - 5 for skills testing and behavioural profiling. You'll place different importance on these depending on the nature of the job. What involvement will they have with the team? Is it important that they fit the culture? Can they learn some skills upon induction?
- The second interview. Involve key team members to get a fresh take on the candidates, and then make a decision.
- Now finalise the offer of employment. Seek guidance from an employment specialist on clauses to include in the employment contract and the appropriate process to take.
Taking short cuts can backfire. Don't accept the first applicant that interviewed well, had a nice CV and a decent reference. Follow correct process and recruit the top applicant for the job.
If they seem too good to be true... they probably are. Recent times have seen qualified, experienced people accept jobs well below their skill level. Chances are they'll be off when a better offer finally comes. Also, are they likely to perform well if they're bored and feeling undervalued?
Don't under-estimate the impact an ill-fit can have on the rest of your team..., or the cost of replacing them months later when it doesn't work out. Do it once and do it right.