5 Helpful Tips for Evaluating Talent to Find the Perfect Candidate

July 5th, 2017 Written by: Molly Masterson

In a perfect world, hiring the perfect employee would be a quick, easy and painless process. But as all hiring managers and recruiters know, the reality is far from this.

To make a home-run hire, you must go through an extensive evaluation process — from sorting applications to the decision-making process after the final interview.

For most employers and recruiters, this evaluation process often includes examining a candidate’s experience, education, potential, and interview performance. But despite a diverse set of evaluation tools, it can be challenging for businesses to distinguish which candidate is the best fit for their company.

With nearly 50 years of experiencing in the staffing world, below we dive in to share some of our own tips for creating a comprehensive evaluation process to make the perfect hire.

1. Build a success profile before you cast your net.

Every company has at least one high-flying employee that you wish you could clone. So why not use that person as a model within your evaluation process?

Create a success profile of your ideal candidate and use that profile to help craft your job description. Ask yourself: What makes this person not only great at their job, but also a good fit for company culture? Then document both hard and soft skills, experience, achievements, and character traits that have led to the success of this employee.

2. Be cautious of candidates that jump from job to job.

Oftentimes, employers are looking for candidates who they can work with and nurture for the long-term. So, if you come across a candidate who appears to be a “job jumper,” our best advice is to exercise caution, but not completely rule them out.

While reviewing their resume, application and related work samples, pay close attention to their achievements during their short tenures and related job titles. Simply put, candidates that have a demonstrated history of achievement make great employees, but also want access to opportunities to continue their growth. If this is something your company can offer, they may be worth bringing in and having a deeper conversation about their aspirations, skills and reasons for moving from job to job.

The bottom line? Be cautious of those who move from job to job, but if they’re skills and experience seem to be a great match, dig a little deeper to understand their reasons for moving around and how they see themselves growing with your company.

3. Ask candidates about their measurable results.

A job is more than a start date and an end date. Regardless of the type of industry you’re hiring for, or the previous work experience of the candidate, there should be measurable results in their background.

During the interview process, ask candidates to provide relevant examples of how they’ve used their skills to achieve results such as meeting sales goals, or resolving difficult situations with customers or coworkers.

In the end, you want to understand how the candidate has actually performed in the roles they held, as well as how they’ve handled tough challenges, and what the outcomes have been.

4. Look for candidates who’ve done their homework on the job they’re applying for.

You know that the hiring and onboarding process for a new employee is time and resource intensive. As a result, as you vet applications and eventually hold interviews with candidates, you should be looking for signals that they truly want the job they’re applying for and have done their homework to show that to you.

While reviewing their application materials, pay attention to whether they’ve taken the time to tailor their resume and cover letter to speak directly to the position and the company. This can give you some real insight into how seriously they’re taking their candidacy.

During the interview process, pay attention to how they’re answering and asking questions, and if they’re able to tie their experience to the specific qualifications outlined in the job description. Typically, candidates who are diligent in their interview preparation are those who really want the job.

5. Ask questions that reveal their personality.

At the end of the day, you’re not just hiring a candidate who has the right experience, skills and education. You’re also hiring the person. As a result, you want to get a feel for their personality so you can gauge whether they’ll be a good cultural fit.

Over the course of an interview, ask probing questions that require personalized responses. Some questions could be:

  • What kind of work environment do you thrive best in?
  • What kind of management style do you prefer? Do you like your manager to be hands-on?
  • How do you like to receive feedback from your coworkers and supervisors?

Their responses will help you learn a little bit more about how they work with others and if they’ll be able to excel in your workplace.

Hiring the Perfect Candidate is a Process

While there isn’t a one-step recipe for hiring quality candidates, a solid evaluation strategy can help guide your efforts. Use these tips throughout the hiring process to identify candidates who possess the experience, skills and personality traits that will make them and your business successful.

If you’re having trouble getting in qualified applications and resumes, check out our five tips to help you grow your talent pool.

If you don’t have the internal resources or bandwidth to devote to an extensive evaluation process, consider partnering with Masterson Staffing. We’ve been providing professional staffing solutions for nearly 50 years and we’d love to help. Visit our Client Services page to learn more about the staffing solutions we offer or contact us today.

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