Looking for a Perfect Fit Candidate? Keep these Things in Mind

April 8th, 2013

As experienced hiring managers know, there’s a difference between a great candidate and a great match. Great candidates are everywhere. They may represent only one out of every five applicants in your pool, but if you’re patient, they’ll turn up in a matter of time. Regardless of geography, level or industry, as soon as you put your job posting in a place where they’ll find it, great candidates will beat a path to your door.

But great candidates aren’t necessarily what you need. They may be smart, hardworking, cheerful, and well groomed, but these things may have no bearing on their ability to thrive in this particular job. What most employers actually need is a good match. That is to say, someone smart, hardworking, prepared for the tasks ahead, experienced with the challenges of this position, and able to get along well with existing employees in your company. This is a much taller order. But nobody said error-free staffing would be easy.

To attract and identify great matches– not just great people– keep these tips in mind.

1.  Don’t be afraid to narrow your pool if you know you’re focusing in on the right candidates. For example, if you need an organic agriculture expert, placing your add on monster.com will attract thousands of eyes. But hanging your add on a bulletin board at the local food co-op will attract the specific eyes that you need. It may also save you from sorting through a mountain of not-quite-right resumes.

2. You can’t find cultural matches until you understand your culture. Every day in the staffing industry, we consult with managers who want culturally appropriate candidates, but when we ask them to talk about the culture of their workplace, they go blank. Or worse, they describe a fantasy culture that they find appealing (fast paced, driven, collaborative, or the most common: fun), but this culture doesn’t reflect their actual workplace at all. Do an honest assessment. If your office is full of happy, thriving introverts, hire an introvert. Don’t pretend an outgoing, extroverted chatterbox will do well there.

3. As you draft your post, be as clear as possible about the attitudes and aptitudes you want. Even if you may deter some candidates by describing your office as “quiet” or “noisy” or your teams as “competitive” or “collaborative”, you’ll be selecting for those who like these descriptors and turning away those who don’t.

4. Get plenty of input from multiple perspectives. Try to have more than one manager in the room during interviews. This way you won’t have to depend as much on gut feelings, which can prevent expensive mistakes. While you’re at it, conduct multiple rounds of interviews. This means two or even three (but don’t surpass three).

Turn to the NC staffing experts at PSU and let us help you find the best possible matches for your open positions. Arrange a consultation today.

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