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Choosing the Perfect Candidate for Your Dream Team!

By Emma Tee on

Ask any business owner what the most challenging aspect of owning their own company is and we can almost guarantee that almost all will answer ‘hiring’. When it comes down to it, choosing the perfect candidate is hard.

Hiring is a headache, it’s why we’re here (if you need us, give us a ring, we love a chat!). Get it right and it can transform your company and team, by bringing in fresh ideas and expertise. Get it wrong, and it can lead to wasted time and resources, unnecessary costs, and can even cause disruptions to your team and culture. 

At a time when candidates hold the power, it’s important to make the hiring process as seamless and smooth as possible. Below we’ll outline how you go about streamlining your process and how to pick the one.

Define what you’re looking for 

Before you even think about posting a job on LinkedIn or reaching out to a recruiter, you first need to know exactly what you’re looking for. Think of it like food shopping. If you head to Tesco without a list, you’ll end up chucking a random selection in the trolley before getting home and realising you haven’t actually bought anything you can make a meal out of. If you head out with a list of dinner ideas for the week, you know what you’re looking for and will come home with something worth cooking. The hiring process is the same. Create a detailed job description that outlines the specific skills, qualifications and experience necessary for the role. 

Outline the Interview Process 

Understanding what your interview process looks like before you start inviting potential employees to interview. Ask yourself: 

  • Am I going to interview as and when you receive relevant applications? 
  • Am I going to add a closing date to your role and review applications at that point?
  • Am I going to do a first and second-stage interview? 
  • Am I going to offer a video interview at the first stage? 
  • Are all the people that need to be involved in the process going to be in the office?

Getting these questions answered will enable you to smooth out the hiring process and make your decision time faster. Also, use this time to develop a list of interview questions that are relevant to the job. Of course, everyone’s experience is different and you’ll want to ask about their specific skills and background, but there are some standard questions you can use across all candidates that will enable you to gain a fair and objective evaluation. 

Review CVs 

When the time comes to review CVs, know what you’re looking for. Refer back to the job description and determine whether they have the relevant experience, skills, and educational background. It is rare that you’ll receive applications that tick every single box, and if they do, you’ve found the Holy Grail and should snap them up. We always say that if a candidate hits 70 to 80% of the job description, they’re worth

seriously considering, and if you’re on the fence there is nothing stopping you from picking up the phone and conducting an initial screening to see how they communicate and their enthusiasm for the role. 

Conduct Interviews 

When it comes to interviewing, you’ll want to make sure they’re in-depth but enjoyable. It’s how you get the best out of any candidate. Remember interviews are two-sided, and it’s also a candidate’s opportunity to understand if they want to work for you – they don’t want to come out of an interview feeling interrogated, they want to come out feeling enthused and engaged. During the interview, you’ll want to talk through their experience and make sure to throw in a couple of competency-based questions that require them to provide specific examples from their past work experiences. This will help you assess their problem-solving and decision-making skills, approach to work, and interpersonal dynamics. 

Assess Cultural Fit 

It’s one of the most important factors when hiring and as it’s intangible it can be difficult to assess. From your interviews, you should have a better insight into a candidate’s values, work style and personality and it’s this that you’ll need to consider when thinking about cultural fit. Which candidate most aligns with your values? Which candidate is going to fit best with the existing team? Which candidate is most likely to help the company and team achieve their goals? Everyone wants to go to work and enjoy a harmonious culture – it will lead to a more successful and cohesive environment, so it’s important to factor into your decision. 

Consider the Future 

Think about the candidate’s potential for growth and development and long-term potential. A candidate who sees a future with your company and possesses the right attitude and a willingness to learn can be a valuable asset, even if they don’t possess every skill you’re looking for. 

Trust Your Gut 

While a robust interview and selection process are crucial, don’t ignore your gut. It’s called your second brain for a reason! If you and a candidate are vibing, and they give you a gut feeling that they’re the right fit for your company, take that into consideration. 

Continue Communicating 

Once your decision is made, don’t keep candidates waiting. Let the chosen one know that they’ve been successful and provide all relevant details so they can make an informed decision as to whether they’ll accept. Once accepted, it’s time to do the difficult part, letting the other candidates know that they’ve not been successful. When doing this, don’t be afraid to provide constructive feedback. It may not seem it at the time, but candidates will value your opinion and any pointers you can provide, they’ll want to know how they can improve for next time. 

Choosing the perfect candidate for a job is a process that requires careful consideration and a structured approach. By defining what you’re looking for and having a robust interview process in place, you’ll not only create a standout candidate experience but you’ll also increase your chances of finding the best match for your company. Hiring isn’t just about filling a role, it’s about building a cohesive and successful team.