When dealing with human capital, you need to have a wide margin of error to fall back on. There are far too many variables in the equation, so people can’t be predicted by a perfect formula.
But that is not to say you should shy away from being stringent in the hiring process. Even the best predictors let through a few bad apples every now and again. Here are a few best practices to help reduce them:
- Have an interview panel
Interviewers often make up their mind, even if instinctively within the first five minutes. However, we are all too aware of the fact that first impressions can often be faulty. Although we cannot change our predispositions and personal preferences, having a team to offer alternative opinions is a check to that instinct.
For example, a candidate with a polarizing effect in an interview who lacks experience may easily be disregarded. But having colleagues can increase the likelihood for spotting something that no on else sees in the candidate. You need to not only trust your own instincts, but to listen and trust your team’s as well.
- Learn to leverage your team’s network
Social media and online networking are often being taken for granted even though they can provide just as much insight as more formal hiring techniques. The growing hyperactivity on LinkedIn solidifies it as being a cheap and valuable resource in identifying potential candidates, with some form of connection. Rather than opening up the role to the world at large, leverage both your own and your employee’s networks to find candidates who are not complete outsiders.
- Transparency is a two-way street
It is natural to be cautious of a candidate who seems too good to be true and may turn out to a completely different person than in the interview. On the flip side, we rarely consider how it feels to be a candidate in the same situation. To encourage transparency, it pays to be open to what the role your offering entails. Be upfront about the work environment and whether your business is going through any difficulties. The right candidate will reciprocate this transparency and take on the role anyway on their own terms.
- Experiment with novel hiring practices
What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. With new technology comes new hiring practices, so don’t be afraid to experiment with unique and customized digital campaigns. Research new hiring practices ranging from pre-hire screening assessments to post-hire negotiations. Also providing bonus incentives during a trial-period can give the candidate time to prove themselves rather than being on-edge.
These four methods can’t guarantee a windfall in discovering the real deal, nor do they offer a one size fit all solution. Results will vary in degree of success from one company to another. What’s important though is to never shy away from failing before finding the perfect tactic for you, your employees and your business.