What is necessary and what is merely advantageous?
Have you ever found yourself caught up in a recruitment that, no matter what you do, has not found the right candidate? Something is simply missing. That spark of personality, the drive, the special education or those five years of experience. These are but some of the problems encountered on a regular basis by recruiters and it calls for a perspective that looks beyond the most obvious complications and see what the real problem could be. The fact of the matter is that you may be looking for the perfect candidate that simply does not exist. Could you have set the bar for your search too high?
In this situation you should ask yourself a number of questions to gain a better understanding of what you could be doing differently and more importantly, why. We have summarized a handful of key points to keep in mind next time such problems arise.
Don't write too detailed a job advertisement.
Avoid making the job advertisement too detailed with steep criteria that could deter potential candidates. You don't want the person reading the advertisement to get the impression that you are seeking some kind of super-man, as that adds to the risk that the person in question won't feel competent enough and may disregard applying for the job altogether. On the other hand, if the advertisement is too lax the result may be people not taking it seriously enough and not applying for that reason. In other words, writing a satisfactory advertisement is like balancing on a rope; too much on either side and you will tip over. Consider the content of the advertisement carefully, or you may risk losing your dream candidate because of the unrealistic expectations you had.
What is the most important quality for this job?
Ask yourself the question: "Does this candidate really have to meet all the criteria and have all the experience on my list to handle the job?" The answer will probably be no. It is easy to paint a picture of the perfect candidate, but the reality of the situation is that that might be much harder to achieve. Be honest with yourself and compare the different points on your list. Which is the most important? What is the difference between must-have qualities and those that come as an added bonus? Which point would you remove if you had to? Is there room to teach a candidate who may be missing a specific skill you seek? Is the person fitting in to their workplace a bigger priority than their experience, or the other way round?
”The person must have at least five years experience in the field”
The candidate must have at least five years’ experience in this line of work…or must they? Avoid putting too much focus on the amount of years of experience and try to instead appreciate what type of work the candidate has been involved in. Maybe the person has contributed to an administrative change in a company or driven a project relevant to what you are seeking, all of which are count to experience in their own right. Avoid narrowing your search too much by getting hung up on details such as years of experience. Also consider which candidates you like. Are they similar to you or a current employee who is performing proficiently? Keep in mind that diversity creates different dynamics in a workplace which in turn leads to creativity.
Don't dwell in previous employees - recognize the possibilities that accompany change.
Remember not to focus too much on what has or hasn’t been achieved by the employee leaving the position, what competence they possessed or how they were as a person. Focus instead on a number of things a new candidate could bring to the group such as a new area of competence, new energy to the group or maybe even a greater hunger for knowledge. Another reason to not look for a candidate similar to the person leaving is that you can easily get into the unfortunate situation where you feel that no candidate is “good enough”. Everyone is different and possesses different qualities. Finding someone exactly the same is harder than it seems.
Use your co-workers’ knowledge.
If you find yourself at a standstill and need help getting more perspectives on the recruitment, ask your coworkers! The people who will work closely with the new candidate will definitely have good insight as to what type of person/competence is needed in the team. What qualities are mandatory and what is just an added bonus?
We hope our advice can pave the way for better recruitment next time you get stuck!