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How to Select and Hire the Best Job Candidates

Your recruitment team has to make a series of informed decisions that will lead to selecting and hiring candidates that will not only flourish in their new roles but also drive long-term growth for your company.

This is why we are sharing our hiring process with tips that can help you select and hire a great team.

CV

Once you post your job ad and the candidates send their applications, the first step is to check their CVs.

A CV should contain all relevant information about the candidate’s educationexperience, and skills, as well as links to the projects they have done. Also, if the candidates are developers, they can include a link to their GitHub.

Besides providing you with the basic information, those who truly want to work in your company will probably make sure that their CV is tailored specifically to the job you advertized. They will do this in an original and unique way or at least try to stand out from the myriads of the same CVs.

One big mistake a lot of candidates make is failing to properly format and check their CV for grammar and spelling mistakes. For some employers, the form can be almost as important as the content of the CV, and this is where the candidates can show attention to detail and care for the quality of their output.

Test

The second step is to test the candidate. Even though a CV itself can give you a feeling of hope that you have found the right candidate, it is never enough. You should also test their knowledge and skills.

To help you facilitate this process as much as possible, here are some tips:

  • Create a test that will filter candidates — this test shouldn’t take up too much of either your or the candidates’ time, but it should act as a reliable filter for the candidates.
  • Make a test that will allow you to assess the different levels of knowledge — The test can be a task that candidates can solve in different ways, and the way they solve it should give you the idea what their current level of expertise is. So you can identify juniors, mediors and seniors with a single test: e.g., for developers it can be creating a simple application with some general specifications you provide. Also have in mind that how candidates see their level of expertise is not necessarily a match with what you expect of them, based on their education and previous experience. The test we described could help you avoid this pitfall because all candidates get an equal opportunity to shine, regardless of how they see their seniority and expertise level.
  • Don’t be too strict regarding technologies — if someone already knows the basics, it won’t be too hard for them to acquire new knowledge.
  • Use timeboxing carefully — timeboxing is a great way to see the quick thinking of the developers as they solve tasks, but when it comes to selecting candidates that have to complete a test that is more creative (e.g., writing a blog post), try not to put too strict time boundaries that will prevent them from completing it to the best of their abilities.

Once they complete the test successfully and you are satisfied with the results, you can organize a video interview, which allows you to get to know the candidate better before you decide whether you will move on to the next step of the hiring process. This can be organized using various tools, e.g., Skype, FaceTime, etc.

Video interviews have many pros, from screening remote candidates to lowering costs and saving time. However, the most important benefit is that it allows you to see how the candidates communicate and how they present their ideas, which can help you decide whether they are the right fit for your company or not.

If you are satisfied with the video interview, the next step in the process is organizing a tech interview. Besides checking their tech skills, tech interviews are a great way to see how the candidates think, if they are naturally inquisitive, if they have the right mindset, etc. Also, if they completed a test at home, you can easily see if they did it independently.

HR Interview

The third step is conducting an HR interview. The candidate should be a cultural fit for your company. You want to find someone who will fit in and who will not only share but actively work to support your values. To do this successfully, we use the Structured Behavioral Interview.

This interview includes 3 types of questions:

  • Background questions
  • Hypothetical situational questions
  • Actual past behavior questions

The first type of questions, the background questions, focus on the work experience, education and any other relevant qualification of the candidate.

The hypothetical situational questions put the emphasis on how the job candidate would solve a hypothetical situation on the job. For example How would you complete a task if you did not have enough information to make a good decision can be one of the questions which show you how they would deal with such issues if they arose.

Last but not least, the actual past behavior questions allow the candidate to share how he/she handled a problem in the past. A question Tell me about one of your favorite experiences working with a team and your contribution can tell you not only how the candidate addressed the problem in the past, but also how he/she would behave in a similar situation in the future.

By conducting such interview, we can assess so many things:

  • Candidates’ adaptability
  • What their values and goals are
  • What motivates them to do their best
  • Are they good communicators
  • Can they take the lead and become successful leaders
  • Do they have the potential to grow in terms of knowledge or to grow into the role they applied for
  • Can they make complex decisions and prioritize

Let them get to know you as an employer

Finally, the end of an interview is a chance to present yourself as an employer to the candidates. You should share what you can offer and what you expect from them. Talk about your values and company culture, the benefits you offer. Include examples how you put it all into practice.

How you communicate with the candidates should be aligned with your company culture and the way you communicate inside the company. Candidates appreciate speed and your readiness to answer their questions or provide information they need in a friendly way.

If you show them that you respect their time and effort, that will benefit your employer image and it will help build trust.

One important aspect of hiring that is in line with building trust is making sure to keep the candidates informed about each step of the hiring process (including your final decision). Don’t wait too long or fail completely to notify them if they are not the right choice for your team. It can lead to them lose interest or form negative opinion about your company.

An additional bonus when you talk about your company is the opportunity to find out more about the candidates. How they react when you talk about your values and principles can tell you a lot about whether they are a cultural fit or not. No matter if we are talking about verbal or non-verbal communication, these signs can tell you whether someone is a good fit for your company.