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Is Finding the Perfect Candidate as Mythical as The Easter Bunny? – 6 things to consider if you cannot find your ‘Perfect’ candidate…

It was initially a sad day in my life when I realised the Easter Bunny was in fact a dude in a rabbit suit!

However there was an upside……. One, I still got chocolate (really the most important part) and Two, I was thinking independently. I was 7 and no longer just believed anything that people told me. I was questioning what was said in order to make up on own mind and came to the conclusion that Rabbits did not wear clothes, lay chocolate eggs or were human size.

When looking to find that ‘Perfect’ candidate, I challenge you to question 6 things.

1. Are you actually offering the ‘perfect’ Job? What are the strengths and weakness within the position? Why would someone working for your competitor want to come and work for you? Are your company attributes clearly outlined in the advertisement and position description? Have you considered the less attractive parts of the role and what tactics are you using with candidates to overcome this?

2. Are you just considering your short-term needs? Short-terms needs are important in gaining a return on investment quickly. However an above average employee has been described as a quick learner, who becomes independent quickly, requires less management support and direction, has a positive attitude, co-operates easily with others, is a good listener and generally a pleasure to work with. Are you also considering the people with less of the required skills but that could be a long term investment to your organisation?

3. Is your interview process scaring candidates off? Interviews are the second most used and ‘flawed’ recruitment and selection tool, behind performance appraisals. Have you evaluated your interview process from the candidate’s point of view?

4. Are you being affected by the Halo effect? The Halo effect can be defined as hiring someone based on an instinctual “gut feeling” or because you “like” a particular candidate. A recent study found that most interviewers make decisions about an applicant in the first two to three minutes of the interview commencing, applying human judgment and bias. Are you giving the candidate enough time to prove their skills before you are ruling them out for the role? If in doubt, DO NOT do without…….just add in some extra steps to qualify your decision such as an additional interview, creating a scenario around the area of concern, technical or behavioral tests.

5. Are you shortlisting candidates based on historical information on their resumes hoping to predict the future of their success? You can only find out so much about a person based on the way their resume looks. Time is scarce and you do not want to interview the wrong candidates. So if their resume shows some promise then add telephone screening to your recruitment process. This increases the amount of people you talk with, however qualifies your assumption in order to schedule the most suitable candidates for the face to face interviews.

6. Do you have HR expertise to assist you in the process? If HR and recruitment is not one of your specialist areas, it is always worth consulting an expert in order to ensure all your dots align to have a solid foundation that will secure you a ‘perfect’ candidate.

Written By Dani Cuff and Jodi Walton. For more information please contact Harrison McMillan