Talent Acquisition

6 Secrets to Hire the Right Job Candidate

There’s a secret sauce to pretty much everything and that is also true of hiring. Ask any successful human resource professional and chances are they have a ton of tools in their arsenal when it comes to recruiting and employer branding. From utilizing mobile to hiring on cultural fit, here’s six secrets human resource experts and recruiters use when trying to find the right job candidate.

Secret No. 1: Embrace Mobile to find candidates

It’s no secret we live in a mobile world, but for hiring it may not seem like the most obvious tool to use. But according to Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS, the maker of recruiting software, job seekers are increasingly using mobile phones and tablets to find and apply for jobs. “Eighty-six percent of job seekers use mobile devices for job searching,” says Vitale. “If your application process isn’t mobile-optimized you could be missing out on a big piece of the pie.” According to Vitale companies have to make sure their career Websites are mobile friendly but also work regardless of how job candidates are applying whether via phone, tablet or PC.

Secret No. 2: Hire on cultural fit not experience

Experience matters but it doesn’t matter that much if the person you hire can’t get along with the rest of the staff or doesn’t agree with the way the company goes about doing things. Because of that Steve Browne, executive director of HR for LaRosa’s Inc., says he makes hires based on how the person will fit in at the company and less about how many years of experience he or she has under their belt.  If an employer asks a job candidate why he or she wants to work here and gets a pat answer it shows the job candidate hasn’t learned anything about the culture, he says. “If you get a more emotionally tied answer there’s a much better chance the person will succeed,” he says.

Secret No. 3: Hire proactively instead of reactively

In the normal world a company will realize they have a need and will go out and try to hire someone to fill that need. Doing that is ok if there isn’t a deadline for when the position needs to be filled, but often there is and hiring managers end up bringing on an ok candidate instead of the ace in the hole. A better option, and one many companies don’t employ, is to always be in hiring mode, says Tom Gimbel, CEO and founder of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing company. “The hiring process can take 30, 60, 90 days, and proactive interviewing ensures there is a pipeline of candidates when a need arises,” says Gimbel. “Proactive interviewing also allows insight into the marketplace and what’s going on. “

Secret No. 4: Define what success means before starting to fill a position

Many companies start the hiring process with a set of skills in mind but don’t have a clear idea of how to measure and define their success. Doing it before hand, however, can ensure you are not only hiring the right person but it will help you craft the job description, says Paul Slezak, co-founder of RecruitLoop.com, the recruitment Website . “No doubt you have expectations of your own and your organization’s successes,” says Slezak. “You also need to know what you want out of any new team members well before the actual recruitment process even starts.”

Secret No. 5: Communication skills matter even for techie roles

Whether you are hiring a sales person or a software programmer, hiring managers have to pay close attention to job candidates’ communications skills, says Browne. “Can you get past the catch phrases and talk to the genuine person,” says Browne. “Do they stay away from buzz words like ‘I believe I’m a synergistic team player.”  According to Browne employers have to go with the candidates that communicate well and do it on a consistence basis regardless of the type of job the person is interviewing for.

Secret No. 6:  Use unusual interviewing tactics

With Websites like Glassdoor and a host of others job candidates have a ton of information at their fingertips to help them prepare for the interview. While companies want informed candidates at the same time they don’t want over polished ones that aren’t genuine. To cut through all the smoke and mirrors Gimbel says companies should use unusual interviewing tactics. “Catch the candidates off guard and see how their professional persona holds up,” says Gimbel. “For example, when I’m interviewing a candidate I’ll have someone interrupt the interview to ask me a question. I’ll then introduce the candidate to that person and take note of that interaction. Does the candidate stand up, shake their hand and introduce themselves?” Another trick: ask a question that doesn’t have anything to do with the job interview and see what the response is.” When you get a candidate that’s defensive and questions why you’re asking the question, it’s a red flag,” he says. “Candidates that are willing to answer demonstrate their flexibility, openness and ability to think on their feet and switch gears quickly.”

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