Hiring the right employee can be crucial to the organization’s growth, creativity and innovation. There are many candidates out there with the necessary experience, knowledge and qualifications. The biggest challenge is to identify the ones who will become great team players, fit your organizational budget, and perform successfully under the conditions you offer to them as an employer.
There are various strategies that hiring professionals to use to ensure they find a successful candidate who would be the ‘right fit’. Here are a few things to keep in mind!
Start with the Job Description
The first thing to consider during the hiring process is the job description. Every organization aims to attract a person with a specific set of skills for the role, but this should not be the only determining factor. It is important to take into consideration the environment that the candidate will be working in, the department he/she will be a part of, and the future needs of that department.
It is important to determine the key characteristics of the candidate’s position. One job title can have very different implications depending on the kind of work the candidate is expected to do. For example, a communications coordinator could be dealing with external communication, internal affairs, or both. An accountant could be doing simple bookkeeping tasks for a small company, or be responsible for coordinating operations of several branches. Be it leadership abilities, working in a team, organizational skills, or any other skills that are key to the role – those characteristics should be listed in the job description, and they are the first things to look at by candidates.
Understand the candidate’s work environment
Looking at the department that the candidate will be working in is a great way to broaden the immediate job description. It reveals particular knowledge, skills and attitudes that the candidate would need to succeed in their role. Besides that, things you discover throughout this process can become a key factor for differentiating among the candidates with similar educational and work backgrounds. Understanding the candidate’s future work environment can also be helpful during the interview process. Some roles, for instance, may only require an interview or two with the candidate, while others demand thorough reference checks and/or special skill-based tasks.
The key to hiring the best candidate is thinking long-term, beyond the candidate’s immediate responsibilities. What is essential for the success of your organization or the success of a specific department? What is this new position supposed to achieve, and how can the candidate help with that? The answers to these and similar questions can help determine the necessary skills and characteristics of a successful candidate.
Full-time or Part-time
Hiring professionals may have different hiring practices depending on whether they are looking for a full-time or a part-time staff member. This is not to say that one is better than the other: both full-time and part-time employees have certain advantages and drawbacks for the organization. The task of HR hiring professionals is to look at the bigger picture and imagine what type of employee would better serve the organization’s objectives, budget, and structure.
As an example: if the goal of some organization is to get extra help for a big project or event while staying on a strict budget, hiring a freelancer or a part-time worker could be a better option. On the other hand, when the goal is a long-term change in the organization, or when the tasks demand continuous attention and/or need to be monitored daily, a full-time employee is a more suitable choice.
Hiring someone full-time may have connotations beyond the budget and goals: it is a bigger investment in the eyes of the organization. Full-time employees require more training, resources and time, as they often become a significant part of the organization on the operational end. As a result, such candidates are expected to show more commitment and dedication, as they are often trusted to represent the organization.
Some of the key expectations from full-time staff also include:
- Adaptability and teamwork: While many candidates focus on highlighting their credentials in resumes and cover letters, hiring professionals often look at the candidate’s social and personal skills: their confidence levels, ability to work under stress, being solution-oriented, etc. If the person cannot fit into the organization’s work environment, they likely will not be hired, no matter how great their qualifications are.
- Personal characteristics and values: Full-time employees often become ‘the face’ of their company, therefore it is important for the employer to know whether the candidate’s values and work ethics match the company’s vision.
- Attitude and enthusiasm: Of course, credentials are important; but more often than not the candidate who gets the job is the one who shows enthusiasm and team spirit on top of their skills and expertise.
This is not to say that part-time or contractual workers should not possess aforementioned characteristics. However, they are usually viewed as a smaller investment on the part of the organization. Part-time employees often contribute to smaller or fragmented tasks. Consequently, there is more focus on the person’s performance and the quality of work they do for the organization, as opposed to how they complement the existing team environment.
Maintain the Balance
The truth is, there is likely no such thing as a perfect match for the position, but some candidates will stand out if the hiring professional knows the key characteristics and expectations for the position.
Apart from the aforementioned factors, the key for successful hiring is finding the balance between the goals of the organization and the candidate’s characteristics. It is important to be flexible during the hiring process. For instance, if the organization is looking to hire a part-timer, but during the interview process it encounters a candidate that could be a great addition to the full-time team, it could be a good idea to keep an open mind about letting them join the team permanently in due time. This could also gain candidate’s interest and loyalty to the organization.