To Hire the Right Person, Start with the Definition of a Candidate

Here at Hireology we talk about hiring the right candidate a lot. But what does that mean? What does it take to be considered the right candidate?

There isn’t a set definition of a candidate that makes them the right candidate for every organization, although the parameters are all the same: experienced, innovative, and a good culture fit. But the characteristics that makeup each of these aspects are different for every company. Take Hireology for example; our definition of a candidate who is the right fit is someone who is passionate, creative, and a team player (hmm…that sounds a lot like me!).

The process to come up with your company’s definition of a candidate isn’t something that should — or can — be done overnight. It’s one of those things that takes time and is ever-changing. The definition of a candidate with the ideal requirements and attitudes doesn’t have to be universal for your company; in fact, each department could create their own since the prominent personalities can differ wildly.

How do you even start to develop a definition of a candidate who is the right one?

The most effective way to begin crafting the definition of a candidate is to look at your current employees. What is it about them that makes them an integral part of the team? Are they always looking for new ways to increase sales? Do they go out of their way to help co-workers who are swamped? Or do they just have what it takes to exceed the expectations of each and every customer? By looking at your top employees, you’ll come to realize that the definition of a candidate who is the right one is not only much easier, but already in front of you. 

Once you know what you’re looking for in your next hire, following a clearly defined hiring process is the key to securing top talent. 

I’ve created my definition of a candidate I want to hire… Now what?

When determining what interview questions to ask, look at your current employees once again. Turn those traits that make them a good worker into questions; remember, you can use your newfound definition of a candidate who will fit in with your work environment to help frame these questions to find the right next hire.

We know that the way businesses
attract and hire top talent has changed since the pandemic, so connecting with the candidate is a must if you want to add them to your team. Odds are that some of your top employees are ones who have risen through the ranks at your organization to your current position — and the modern job seeker wants to see clear career pathways like that. In the interview, capitalize on this and ask something along the lines of, “How important is career growth at your next role to you?”

Compare your definition to what references have to say

Once you find a candidate or two that you believe fits your definition of a candidate you want to add to your team, verify this through reference checks. Don’t just verify their dates of employment; ask the reference what three words they would use to describe the candidate. If the reference were to say that the candidate is compassionate, focused, and introverted, chances are that candidate wouldn’t fit in with your company culture if your employees are extroverted and constantly working on multiple projects at once. As you can see, your definition of a candidate goes beyond the requirements that you need someone to have to qualify for a role at your company — it includes the candidate’s personality, affect, and disposition.

What to do when you can’t find the living, breathing representation of your definition

If you just can’t seem to find a candidate who lives up to your expectations, don’t rethink your definition of a candidate just yet. Encourage employee referrals. Whether the referral is friends with one of your employees or former co-workers, your employee would have insight into their work ethic and personality. Plus, they’re not going to bring someone to the table who they know just wouldn’t be a good fit. And if the candidate has a strong relationship with the employee, chances are good that they would mesh well with the rest of the team as well.

Are you looking for a tool that can manage all of your hiring steps in one place? Look no further: watch this video to see how easy hiring can be with Hireology!

Hiring the right person can take time, and so can determining what makes someone the right candidate — but it is well worth your time. Making a bad hire costs both time and money. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a mediocre candidate because you feel like you need to hire someone immediately. Sticking to the definition of a candidate that will seamlessly blend into your organization ensures that you put the right person in the right seat at your organization. As that old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race – that is unless you are having a scooter race around the office.

Do you want to implement an employee referral program at your company? Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel — learn from the best by downloading our guide, 6 Blueprints for a Successful Employee Referral Program.



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