Make the Right Hire with a Successful Interview Process

April 2, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

recruiting candidatesIf recruiters hired everyone who’s good at interviewing, either there would be no demand for talent or there would be no need for recruiters.

A candidate who makes for a charming interviewee doesn’t always equate to a quality employee, yet many companies make the mistake of presuming the two are the same. Save time and the expense of booting unsuitable employees to make room for a second try of better fits.

Streamline the process and get the right talent in your funnel by filtering through only qualified candidates the first time around.

Screen candidates thoroughly and with a critical eye.

The foundation of the hiring process is assessing talent’s competence and abilities to fill the open position. Refine the kind of candidates that make it through the initial evaluation period by reviewing for paramount validations of skillsets and capabilities.

Here are some red flags to look out for:

  • Spelling and grammar errors

  • Badmouthing previous or current employers 

  • Lack of any information on your company or industry

  • Short employment periods in former roles

  • Exaggeration of contributions and duties in former roles

Alternatively, here’s what can signify a well-suited candidate:
  • Side projects, open source contributions, and participation in hackathons

  • A discernible online presence and work portfolio on sites like GitHub, Dribbble, Behance, or their own webpage

  • Familiarity with most recent, notable industry news

  • Work with previous similar companies and the success and quality of those companies

  • Reasonable curiosity about information on your organization that isn’t already publicly available

  • Ideas, strategies, and a blueprint for improving your current product (Wireframes? Even better.)

Set time for interview rounds that include skills application and meetings with colleagues.

It’s not uncommon for smaller companies to host more than two rounds of interviews to comprehensively inspect a candidate. Being strapped for cash shouldn’t be a reason for rushing how quickly a potential hire moves from one stage to the next. After the initial screening and interviews with either hiring manager, recruiter, or both, candidates should interview with a team member, particularly one he or she will supervise.

Meeting with prospective employees allows current employees to get a sense of the candidate’s management style, cultural fit, and ability to guide the team’s career developments. If the candidate makes it past this level, move onto the technical-practical assessment portion of the process, and allow candidates to meet the rest of the team to participate in a mock-up (or actual) situation that would be typical for the business.

Whether it be fixing a bug in a line of code, managing a PR crisis, or creating the design for the company’s careers page, putting a candidate in the shoes of their role-to-be gives you an overview of their on-the-spot talents and limits, capacity to be assertive and, similarly, respected, and potential to adapt to existing methodologies. It also helps the candidate gauge his or her own fit with the team.

Distinguish between must-have and trainable skills.

The perfect candidate doesn’t exist, but by this point, you’ve probably curated a list of viable contenders who have a plethora of skills and experiences that can greatly contribute to your team’s success. Avoid dragging out the hiring process with the belief that “there is always someone better.” Of course there is, but 1) it’s likely they’re already employed, and 2) running a search for such a candidate leaves current, qualified runner-ups waiting around to hear the news — if they choose to wait.

Scout talent with efficient work practices, who nail the interviews, has a proven track record, and who’s more than capable to lead the team to meet deadline and product goals. Candidates can be trained in learning agile project management, but it takes a candidate’s personal development to know organization, prioritizing, and successful execution.

Selecting and recruiting top talent starts with the first touchpoint a company makes with a candidate, and determining their qualifications from the start. Steer clear of judging candidates solely on how engaged you were during their interview, no matter how intriguing they or their stories may come across.

Various tactics work for different industries, and finding the right candidate for the job may take a few tries, but closely measuring their effectiveness and fit is worth the extra time and effort for the company’s continuous success.  

candidate outreach