How to Select the Right Candidate for the Job

How To Select The Right Candidate For The Job

As your business grows you need the right team beside you to do the technical tasks and free up your time so you can do the work to continue to grow and evolve.

There will come a point where you just can’t sustainably keep up with business demand. Hopefully you’ve expanded your staff numbers well before you get to breaking point.

I get why there is hesitation in employing staff for your business. Finding the right person for any of your roles can be full of complications and learning curves. Even so, it’s essential you get started and set up efficient recruitment systems – and no, hiring friends and family to fill the gaps isn’t an acceptable solution, although many business owners default to this to get around the tricky issue of needing more hands on deck.

This article will explain how to identify your position needs, find the right person, screen out the wrong people, conduct interviews and become a strategic leader in your business.

Why is it crucial to find the right person from the start?

The domino effect of hiring the wrong person for your business can be extensive and long-lasting which is why it is crucial to find the right person from the start.

The wrong person doesn’t have to be a bad person, they could just be the wrong fit for that particular role or for your organisation and goals, but even still it can have a negative impact on staff morale and client relations. 

The wrong fit for your business can result in:

  • Lost money
  • Lowered reputation
  • Reduced productivity
  • Disgruntled clients
  • Stress

As well as the difficult task of ending their employment you also need to go through the time-consuming and expensive task of finding someone to take their place.

Positive company culture is that spark that brings passion, excitement and compassion to your workplace. You want to bring people into your business that will keep that going, and even elevate it if you can. 

A loss of morale can go hand-in-hand with a lack of trust in your leadership. It’s part of your responsibility as a leader to bring it all together. If you fail that task, what else might you get wrong? Or maybe you don’t care enough about your team to put the work in? The last thing you want is for them to doubt your ability or feel undervalued. 

As for client relationships, any damage can dash your reputation. Repairing those relationships takes a long time and could cost you a lot of money.

What do you need to do before interviewing job candidates?

We’ll cover how to spot red flags in the interview in the next section but before then you need to get a few things organised.

Systemise your business

First, you need to know exactly what the position is and what tasks are involved. A clean and clear position description will attract the right people with the right skills.

Don’t be afraid to insert some personality into your job ad. You want them to get a feel for who you are and what is expected.

You need to know who they will be working with, who they will report to and anyone they will supervise. The way to nail all these points down is to systemise your business

Make some changes

Introducing a new staff member is the perfect time to iron out some wrinkles that might have been overlooked in the past. Ask what improvements can be made and include these as part of the employee requirements or training programs.

Be upfront about deal breakers

If there is something about the position that might be off-putting make sure you are transparent about it. 

So, say you need them to work holiday periods, that there is overtime, minimum quotas or travel on the agenda, make sure that’s made clear in writing. I know that sometimes these are asked of candidates in the interview or over the phone but I find in that situation the knee-jerk reaction is for them to say, ‘Sure, I can do that’, without actually thinking it through. 

If you put them on the spot they might be too busy trying to please you and won’t be able to process exactly how this impacts things.

Find your point of difference 

Attracting the best people for the job means offering them a reward of some kind. People who only work for pay will leave or lose interest over time. You need to find something special that will keep them interested and loving what they do. 

This doesn’t need to be all out and extravagant – remember, your aim is to draw in the right person, so your values and goals should be front and centre as a massive draw card. So for example: Come work for us, we are passionate about the environment and making a big difference to what comes tomorrow.

Finally, think about where you want to advertise the position. Where does your ideal candidate hang out? You want to reach out to them in the place where they will see it and that reflects the personality you want to experience as part of your team.

Ways to spot red flags during interviews and meetings

Now that you have the position written and placed in the ultimate locations, it’s time to read through applications and pick the people you want to meet and get to know.

Here are some red flags to watch out for:

#1 Perfect resume formatting

Resume templates are free on every word processing platform, any employment website and through services for unemployment so don’t read too much into a perfectly formatted resume.

What you need to be focused on is the weight of their resume information – which can be well-masked with clever formatting. Hobbies should be a brief mention. See how closely their skills and experience match and ways that skills can be transferable to other areas. 

The clubs, communities and extracurricular activities will also give you an indication of what their personality type is and how well they’ll blend with other team members.

#2 Cookie cutter Jo

Some people will try to come across as very vanilla in an interview situation – it’s the professional look, but it’s not going to help you choose. You need to get a read on their personality. 

Rather than looking for good or bad, you are looking for the right fit. That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone on the team is identical. This is where your work beforehand will come in to define what your team needs for balance and harmony as well as the personality traits that will be needed to complete the tasks assigned to them. 

Knowing what you need is going to make spotting the right person easy. During the interview, plenty will be given away about their personality.

  • Are they soft-spoken or loud?
  • Do they think carefully before their response or fire off the first thing that comes to mind?
  • Do they talk slowly or rapidly?
  • Are they direct and to the point or do they add emotion and expression to their responses?

Again, none of these factors makes them good or bad people, they’re just indicators of who you want to hire. The great thing is they don’t need to have a lot of experience to be able to give you this information so if you are hiring a new graduate or school leaver you can still gain a lot from the interview, even if you can’t comb through their previous experience.

Interviews can be a nervous experience. To get around jitters make the interview as friendly and approachable as you can. You want them to open up and relax so you can see who they are and what they are expecting honestly.

#3 I don’t have any weaknesses

Everyone has weaknesses – multiple and ever-evolving – yet, What are your weaknesses? is probably the most dreaded question an interviewee can be asked. It sucks but as someone conducting an interview, you need to unravel what their weaknesses are so you can see if that is something you (and your team) can happily live with or maybe it is an issue that will already be covered as part of your development program.

You might not want to ask them ‘What are your weaknesses’ directly, so you can also phrase it as, ‘What do you want to improve on?’

  • What might some other candidates have over you in this job position?
  • Is there any training you’d be interested in as part of this employment?
  • Was there a challenge you weren’t able to overcome in past roles?
  • How might this position assist in your own personal development?

#4 Not giving references a heads up

There is nothing more embarrassing than calling up a referee and finding they had no idea they were included. This is a big red flag. Just as common courtesy, it’s important that a candidate gets permission to include a name on a resume, but also it means that they aren’t in touch with this person, haven’t discussed their application or desire to work for you and their communication in general is questionable.

#5 Can’t handle a work task

This won’t be applicable to every case but if you have specific tasks that they have said they can do ask them to prove it. You want to know for sure they can walk the walk with total confidence.

If they can’t just note what excuses or apologies they bring up – it’s a good indication of their mindset if they can accept responsibility or they try to pass the buck and lay the blame elsewhere.

What can business owners do to find the right staff?

What about the green flags? There are some things you can do as a business owner to find the right staff.

Pre-qualify call – Don’t call and offer an interview, have a chat about their application and what they are looking for in the role. If you like who you’re talking to, go ahead and offer them the interview slot.

Have a trial day – Bring them in for a half day to get a feel for things and see how they settle. It’s a great way to get feedback from your existing team and have them feel like part of the process. It can help decide the winner if the two candidates were very similar on paper.

Go for a positive mindset – someone open to change, open to possibilities open to learning and accepting of feedback can be more valuable to a team than someone rigid with experience. Look for a person who will grow and adapt as your business scales

Find someone who has a passion for learning and a desire to teach others – these are traits and qualities of a great leader. 

Trust your instinct – if you have great rapport with someone and the interview flows smoothly, trust your gut. The right person will feel right. Make sure you are honest and upfront about your expectations and the rewards for working with you and they will be equally transparent with you.

How to select the right candidate for the job – Key Takeaways

There will come a point in your business growth where you can’t sustainably keep up with business demand – which is a good thing. Hopefully you’ve expanded your staff numbers well before you get to breaking point so you can accommodate new volumes and increase your sales reach and capacity all while maintaining high quality. 

While many business owners hesitate to employ staff you need to roll up your sleeves and dive in. It’s important you get everything organised before you advertise the position, be aware of the red flags to watch out for and hire the right person to balance your team’s skills and contribute to a positive work culture.

When you hire the right staff you move up to roles of management, leadership and entrepreneur can be overwhelming and challenge your mindset. For your business to grow you must be willing to rise to the challenge. Staying put won’t just limit what you can do, it will hurt your business profits too.

If you are struggling with this, some leadership training will go a long way to developing your confidence, communication and mindset to empower you as a positive leader. Book a free Business Coaching Meet & Greet and let’s see if we can help you grow your team successfully. 

How to select the right candidate for the job – FAQs

What is the best way to select a candidate?

The best way to select a candidate is through a comprehensive and structured hiring process. Start by clearly defining the job requirements and desired skills. Develop a strategic recruitment plan that includes advertising the position, sourcing candidates through various channels, and leveraging professional networks. Screen resumes and applications to shortlist candidates who meet the initial qualifications. Conduct thorough interviews, both behavioural and technical, to assess their competencies and cultural fit. Additionally, consider incorporating assessments, tests, and work samples to evaluate their abilities. Finally, gather feedback from the interviewers and make a well-informed decision based on a combination of factors such as skills, experience, qualifications, cultural fit, and potential for growth.

How do you know if a candidate is right for the job?

Determining if a candidate is right for the job involves a holistic evaluation process. Look beyond the resume and assess their skills, experience, and cultural fit. During interviews, ask situational and behavioural questions to gauge their problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and how they handle various work scenarios. Consider their past accomplishments and how well they align with the job requirements. Additionally, assess their passion for the role, motivation, and alignment with the company’s mission and values. Checking references can provide insights into their work ethic and performance in previous roles. By considering these factors collectively, you can gain a better understanding of whether a candidate is the right fit for the job.

How do you answer the right candidate for a job?

Selecting the right candidate for a job involves careful consideration and a thoughtful approach. When making the decision, it’s essential to evaluate each candidate based on the established criteria. Consider their qualifications, relevant experience, skills, cultural fit, and potential for growth within the organisation. Additionally, take into account the overall team dynamics and how the candidate would contribute to the team’s success. Remember that the right candidate is not just technically proficient but also aligns with the company’s values, possesses the right attitude, and demonstrates a willingness to learn and grow. By analysing all these aspects, you can confidently choose the candidate who best matches the job requirements and has the potential to thrive in the role.

What To Look For When Interviewing Someone

When interviewing someone, it’s crucial to assess various aspects to determine their suitability for the job. Look for the following qualities:

Job-specific skills: Evaluate their technical competencies and their ability to apply those skills effectively in a work setting.

Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities: Assess their capacity to analyse situations, make informed decisions, and solve complex problems.

Communication skills: Observe their verbal and written communication skills, as effective communication is crucial for collaboration and conveying ideas.

Adaptability and learning agility: Determine their willingness to adapt to new situations, learn new skills, and embrace change in a dynamic work environment.

Teamwork and collaboration: Assess their ability to work well with others, contribute to a positive team dynamic, and collaborate effectively towards shared goals.

Leadership potential: Identify candidates who demonstrate leadership qualities, such as taking initiative, motivating others, and providing guidance.

Cultural fit: Consider how well they align with the company’s values, mission, and work environment to ensure they will thrive within the organisational culture.

By focusing on these key aspects during the interview process, you can gain valuable insights into a candidate’s potential to succeed in the job.

How do recruiters find the right job candidates?

Recruiters employ various strategies and methods to find the right job candidates. Some common approaches include:

Job postings: Recruiters advertise job openings on job boards, company websites, and social media platforms to attract potential candidates.

Networking: Recruiters leverage their professional networks, attend industry events, and engage with relevant communities to identify potential candidates.

Referrals: They encourage employee referrals and incentivize current employees to recommend qualified candidates from their networks.

Direct sourcing: Recruiters proactively search for candidates through online platforms, professional networks, and databases using specific keywords and filters.

Recruitment agencies: They partner with external recruitment agencies or headhunters who specialise in finding qualified candidates for specific roles.

Talent pipelines: Recruiters maintain a pool of pre-screened candidates who might be suitable for future job openings based on their qualifications and interests.

Social media and online presence: Recruiters use social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to identify and engage with potential candidates who have relevant skills and experience.

By combining these strategies and utilising their expertise in candidate sourcing, recruiters increase their chances of finding the right candidates for the job.

Remember, the selection process requires careful consideration and assessment of multiple factors to ensure you find the candidate who not only meets the job requirements but also aligns with the company culture and has the potential to contribute to long-term success.