Taking the stress out of recruiting the perfect candidate

Finding the perfect candidate can often be a time-consuming process. Not only do you have to find a candidate that has skills that suit the role, but someone that will also fit the culture of the Company.

As with anything, recruiting the “perfect candidate” can be stressful. We spoke to our Talent Acquisition Director, James Newton, to find out some tips about how to take the stress out of the recruitment process.

1. Keep Your Advert Short
When you are advertising a job, keep content short as this can help to save stresses later in the process. Though candidates will want to know about the role and skills needed, you need to make it sound exciting and specific to help the advert stand out from your competitors. At 4Com we work with a templated structure for all job adverts with two parts; “A brief outline of the job” and “What you need to apply”. For example:

“As Digital Marketing Assistant, you’ll support the marketing team in digital marketing activities to execute 4Com’s SEO strategy. You’ll help review and optimise our company websites including looking at content creation, link building, campaign management and supporting their development using WordPress through uploading content. In addition, you’ll help to promote our brands online and on social media, as well as delivering internal communications to the business.”

“To apply you’ll need SEO experience or a basic understanding of SEO principles as well as an awareness, and ideally experience, of Google Analytics. If you’re an energetic, positive and creative person with a real interest for social media and digital marketing then this is for you.”

2. Explain Your Culture
Ensure you represent your culture in the advert. When a candidate is looking for a new role, they’re applying to the company as well as the job itself. Write a consistent closing paragraph for each advert:

“At 4Com we’re one big family. We’ve been named as The Sunday Times Best Company to Work For 2017 – our 5th year in a row making the Best Companies list.

If you want to love your job and the people you work with apply today. You’ll not find anywhere else like it.”

3. Make It Easy to Apply
At 4Com, we accept all manner of applications either through our website, as a telephone call to reception or even a hand delivered letter! The perfect candidate could apply through any means so keep yourselves accessible.

4. Prepare for the Interview
Job interviews are something that not only a candidate should prepare for. Create interview guides for consistency.

At 4Com we sit down with the hiring manager to discuss 3-5 behaviours that are essential to the role and choose indicators that we can clearly mark the candidate on. For example; for behaviour ‘copes with pressure’ you could choose the indicator ‘remains calm in difficult circumstances’. Choose behaviours and indicators for each interview question and mark accordingly. During the interview, always remember to set their expectations, maintain eye contact, smile and use Pareto’s Law as a guiding principle for the interview (80% interviewee talking, 20% interviewer).

As soon as possible, score the candidate with the hiring manager using your new interview guide while it’s fresh in both your minds. Use the indicators to really question if they displayed the behaviours and make sure you commit to a timescale to feedback to the candidate.

5. Reduce the Time to Fill
When filling a vacancy, try to remember to not replace the person. If you’ve not been successful in recruiting the perfect candidate, then don’t stress! Look back to the job advert and check that all skills and competencies are essential to fulfil the objectives of the role. Sometimes, we recruit based on the individual who is currently or has been doing the job. Remember, everyone started somewhere so a person who is 80% right today could be next year’s superstar.

6. Look Closer to Home
Employee referral programmes are a great way of bringing in new talent to your business. On average 20% of hires are made through employee referral programmes in the UK. At 4Com, we’ve learnt that referred candidates are more successful at interview stage when compared with other sources, and the retention of these referred candidates is also better.

Following these six areas should help you to take the stress out of recruiting the perfect candidate.