Building a strong team is a must for any successful business. The ideal candidate profile depends on the open position and the company, so recruitment strategies vary greatly. However, there are several ways you can optimize the process of candidate selection to achieve better results.
Candidate selection: what does your perfect choice look like?
Candidates try to dazzle you with their resumes, but the real question is which of them can do the job. To find your diamond in the rough, you should look beyond the tenure and lists of skills. The best candidates are:
- motivated to do the job. They will be eager to achieve the best results, derive satisfaction from the job, and stay with your company for a long time;
- interested in learning new skills. The modern world demands constant changes and improvement. A life-long learner is bound to grow at your company, becoming an invaluable team member;
- coachable, so they can easily adjust to new roles, environments, and technologies;
- good fit for your company’s culture. A team that shares the same values is an effective team. Besides, it is pleasant to work in such an environment!
Finding the perfect candidate may be challenging, especially if dozens or even hundreds of applicants apply to join your team. However, HR automation and various recruitment instruments make the task easier. Let’s look at several tips on how to improve the quality of hire.
Use the benefits of candidate tracking software
99% of Fortune 500 Companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) for the candidate selection, Jobscan 2019 survey found. ATS is software designed to assist HR specialists in the recruitment process. These systems can store information about applicants from different sources in one database, analyze it, and streamline the hiring process. According to Ongig’s 2020 research, the most popular ATSs in North America, are:
ATSs help companies boost their talent acquisition KPIs. One of the results is better hiring. There are several reasons for that:
- Administrative tasks become less of a burden. A recruiter can publish a listing on several job portals at once or send follow-up emails in a few clicks. This frees the recruiter to devote time and energy to things that are more substantial; like interviewing applicants or gathering more information about them;
- Initial CV screening is automated. Looking through dozens or even hundreds of applications is a tiresome task. Candidate screening software allows recruiters to review more resumes and single out the best prospective candidates;
- Collaborative hiring becomes effortless. HR teams can share their assessment of every candidate and make decisions collectively. As a result, the final judgment includes more points of view and is less prone to error.
Organizations are recognizing that machines can be incredibly efficient in identifying the most qualified individuals in the candidate pool, thereby giving recruiters the chance to focus their time on more meaningful tasks and building relationships with best-fit candidates.—Al Smith, CTO at iCIMS, a talent acquisition software provider.
Leverage candidate testing
Resumes and interviews remain the primary sources of information about the applicant. However, they aren’t enough to make the best choice. There are significant reasons to add assessment tests to the candidate selection process:
- Any candidate wants to make an excellent first impression. Therefore, resumes are often full of exaggerations and may provide a distorted picture of an applicant’s skills, knowledge, and experience;
- Such tests stem from exact hiring requirements. They prove to be a good indicator of how well a person will fit the position. The recruiter is less likely to make the wrong decision;
- The results of the tests are easily comparable, so there are fewer doubts about candidates’ rankings. Besides, the scores can help to predict their future job performance.
To make the task of testing easier, specialists created a great variety of automated tools. They can help get a lot of additional information, assessing personality traits, work, social skills, culture fit, etc.
Among such instruments are chatbots that use Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technologies, such as Jobpal, Mya, and Olivia. Chatbots can even initiate a conversation with passive candidates from the database to determine if they are interested in job openings. Recruiters can apply different settings to adjust the testing of applicants.
Use the power of social media for candidate selection: the LinkedIn deep research guide
LinkedIn, with its 722 million users, is a gold mine for a modern recruiter. 40M people use LinkedIn each week to look for jobs, and three people are hired every minute on this social network. The term «social network» may not be the best way to describe LinkedIn; it can rightfully be called «the employment marketplace.»
Though all social media platforms have a place in the recruiting world, LinkedIn is one of the most effective professional networking sites for connecting with potential candidates and promoting job openings.—Lindsay England, the Senior Director of Operations at Ultimate Medical Academy’s Career Services Department
Here is our LinkedIn checklist, describing the ways to get more information about an applicant:
- Review the candidate’s profile thoroughly. Compare it with the resume and cover letter to check if she is consistent in her presentation;
- Study the recommendations (if there are any). Note their date, consider their applicability to the open position. Pay special attention to letters from bosses and co-workers. You may reach out to the recommender through InMail and use that person for a reference;
- Check if you have a connection to your candidate. You may be in the same network circle via one or two people who can provide their opinions. Such assessments may be even more objective than the recommendations;
- Mine the candidate’s profile for other information to add to the total picture. You may find the links to her blog, consider the listed interests and group connections. Are they in line with your vision of the ideal candidate?
Conduct resume screening with efficiency and care
Resume screening is one of the most demanding and time-consuming stages of the recruitment process. The essential resume screening checklist includes these steps:
- Create a list of job qualifications. It may involve talking to current successful employees and their supervisors, studying their resumes to find common patterns in education, skills, experience, and personality traits;
- Review each qualification, setting a must-have minimum or labeling it as a preferred qualification;
- Compile a cv checklist. This scoreboard will enable you to rank each candidate depending on the job requirements and shortlist the strongest ones;
- Select a resume screening tool. There are numerous benefits of using AI-driven technologies for pre-screening. They shorten the hiring time and reduce the cost of hire significantly. Additionally, they reduce human bias.
While studying the resumes of shortlisted candidates, you should be watchful for the signs of potential problems. For example, large gaps in employment and several successive brief tenures may have innocent explanations, but the candidate should be willing to give them. Sloppy resumes or the ones with lots of personal information and few professional details may suggest that the applicant isn’t serious about finding a job.
Automated tools can also come in handy to identify resume gaps and fraud. For instance, Employa, a smart recruiting assistant, scans CVs for such gaps, discrepancies, and embellishments, alerting the recruiter about them. The candidate can also get requests to provide more information or answer some follow-up questions via Employa’s Applicant Portal. Such tools allow you to pick the best candidates quickly and efficiently.