How do I Hire the Right Person?
Published on: 25 March 2015
When I am often asked how you go about finding and hiring the right person for an important role, it’s normally because the person asking the question has had an experience in the past where they have failed to appoint the right person, or that the person they appointed just didn’t work out for whatever reason.
There are many common reasons why so many firms hire the wrong person – some of these include; a poorly presented job advertisement, use of a less than professional recruitment firm or simply adopting a capture all approach that doesn’t impress the right calibre of candidate.
Employers often rush into making an appointment – they want the role filled fast and they want to spend as little as possible on the process. They then realise too late that the person they’ve hired is not capable of doing the job or doesn’t fit in with the culture of their organisation. The methodology chosen to recruit key people will determine success.
Traditional advertisements and recruitment agencies work for some roles. For business critical roles, the use of an executive search firm, such as 4c, to confidentially headhunt candidates and act as a conduit between them and the prospective employer is a more targeted and a very efficient way to ensure you hire the best person for the job.
Whatever approach you use, getting it right begins with the job description and person specification. What are you actually looking for in the person, what is the correct job title, what is the purpose of the position, what are the duties and responsibilities that come with it and what personal traits are most important?
Ultimately you have to decide what the essential and desirable criteria are – education, skills, experience, competencies – and stick to them.
All too often the recruitment exercise fails due to poor planning and management. Attracting the right candidate is the first part of the equation and if you fail to follow up quickly you can often lose them. There is no shame in showing you are keen, this only serves to impress. Respond quickly to applications and arrange to meet with the right people sooner rather than later.
When assessing CVs many employers just take into account job titles and places of work and pay less attention to what the person actually did or achieved there. You are looking for information that clearly matches what you are looking for on paper first, then further assessment will determine if the cultural fit is right or not.
In addition, do ensure candidates know what type of interview to expect. A non-structured approach is often the norm for a first interview because it lets you get an idea of someone’s personality. If you are still convinced that the candidate is right, then follow it up with a second, more structured interview that is competency based and simply marked by a panel – perhaps five-to-10 questions of no more than two or three minutes each.
Try to ask questions which are relevant to the role you are trying to fill, ones that will determine if the candidate is capable of fulfilling the scope of the role by demonstrating their understanding. Ask for plenty of examples that are relevant to the role, testing their knowledge, expertise, delivery and accomplishments. Provided they meet the essential and desirable criteria, and have passed two well-structured interviews and provided good references for their character, experience and ability, then you should be in a position to be confident that you have done everything within your power to appoint the right person, but more importantly, an asset and ambassador!