Recruitment Basics Part Three: Narrowing the Field

Welcome to part three of four on the recruitment basics for managers.

If you have been following along, you will now have shortlisted your applications with reference to the matrix you originally prepared.  You will be very clear on the skills and attributes the position requires, you will have thrown out your lure and are now ready to narrow the field.  There are four important parts to help you get the outcomes you desire:

Psychometric Profiling

Your first question (if you have not used these before) may be: what on earth is psychometric profiling? Does it hurt?

Here is a video by Winsborough’s Sonya Cowen, that will answer these questions and more.  Actually on second thoughts not the – does it hurt – question.  We might talk about that in the future, because I did find my own a little uncomfortable.

There is a range of good tools and some rubbish ones out there that can help you with profiling applicants.  We have had success with New Zealand based selector insight profiling, finding it to be almost uncannily accurate.  This tool not only identifies how well the candidate is likely to fit with your organisation it also highlights areas for discussion/probing questions during reference checking.  In addition the written profile provides valuable information on how the candidate will best be inducted and managed if they are your ‘chosen one’.

The Interview

interviewOctoAlthough there is merit in setting the style and format of the interview to suit the interviewer and your company culture, there are some basic principles to follow:

  • Provide a comfortable, private space, with drinking water (no corner cafes please).
  • Unless it is for a very senior position, don’t overwhelm the applicant with a big panel of interviewers.
  • The applicant should do most of the talking.
  • If you are an organisation that likes to provide a standard set of pre-prepared questions (to ensure a fair comparison between applicants), ensure the questions are not leading and provide plenty of scope for the applicant to inject their personality into their response.
  • Consider setting a task for the applicant to complete which gives you an idea of their level of technical expertise.
  • Make allowances for nerves; even a very competent employee can find interviews scary.
  • Ensure the discussion focuses on the key areas you have identified as critical to the success of the role.

Reference Checking – the quick and dirty four

For today we offer four ‘quick and dirty’ tips for referencing checking (future blogs will expand further, so stay tuned):

Begin by building a little rapport with the person, try to find some common ground that will help them to trust you.

Listen for hesitations and changes in tone of voice – for clues on what areas to probe further

Listen not only to what they are saying but also to what they are NOT saying.

Always avoid sending written questionaries’ to referees.  We have known busy managers to simply pass these on to the applicant to fill in.  True story. While such practices are (hopefully) rare, there are other reasons to speak to the referees in person.  For one, many people will feel empowered to be more honest verbally than in writing.  Secondly, there is no ‘tone of voice’ to guide you.

Verify the documents

This is not a time to be trusting, many an unsuspecting employer has been duped with fake qualifications.  You must sight the originals or a certified copy.

You are very nearly there, next week we will look at offering and on-boarding aka: getting off to a good start.

Happy fishing,

Claire, The Barefoot (SME) Recruiter

References Links

The full series on recruitment basics includes:

Note from the future: I later provided two bonus blogs (free of charge) on:

Clay Art by Rosie Percy (12)

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