Congratulations, you’ve secured the funding for a new hire and advertised the job. Now you can sit back and wait as the applications roll in. Do you know that the average job posting receives between 75 and 250 responses?!

With such a large application pool, finding the right candidate can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. How do you know who the best fit is? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you make sure you don’t reject your dream candidate by accident?

Bringing in a seasoned recruitment professional can certainly help make the process easier. We’ll walk you through some of the key steps and be there along the way to support you and make sure the process is as straightforward and hassle-free as possible.

Step 1: Define Your Requirements

We’ll start by assisting you to define your requirements. This will happen during our initial consultation, before you even post the job opening. We’ll discuss and clarify the specific need in your business and established a rough idea about what the dream candidate looks like. We’ll also focus on precisely pinpointing the attributes (soft skills), personality and experience you want the candidate to have.

Defining your requirements should be a team effort with all hands on deck. We’ll provide our opinions based on years of industry experience, but you should also ask co-workers, the person who currently holds the position and their co-workers or clients.

We’ll finish the meeting by creating a detailed list, which we can then use to develop a matrix for screening CVs (see next step).

Step 2: Screen CVs & Create a Shortlist

Screening CVs can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. You don’t want to rush it as not paying enough attention to CVs or cover letters is a sure-fire way to miss the best candidates. Outsourcing to an experienced recruitment consultant can streamline the process as we’ll select a small batch of the most qualified applications for you to look through or take it one step further and choose the candidates that’ll receive an interview invite.

Step 3: Interview

Okay, now that we’ve narrowed down the potential applicants to a small shortlist, it’s time to meet them. An interview is a fantastic way to learn more about candidates and assess how they’ll fit into your existing team. Asking them questions about their past experience also confirms and verifies the information on their CVs.

When interviewing, you can either use a structured or informal approach. In structured interviews, you ask the same set of questions to candidates which makes it easier to compare their responses. Unstructured interviews are more like a conversation as you can ask relevant questions and guide the discussion to check out the candidate’s experience and soft skills.

Both approaches can be beneficial, so we don’t recommend one over the other. It’s really about what you, as the interviewer, feel comfortable with and whether you’re able to think on your feet. You can read more about the questions that you can and can’t ask here.

What to Look For in An Interview

An interview is the perfect opportunity to determine if a candidate is the right fit. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few creative tricks:

  • Observe the candidate’s body language. Do they make eye contact? Are they almost hiding into their jacket? How the candidate carries themselves in a high-stress situation gives you a sneak peek into their responses under pressure.
  • Look for problem-solving abilities. Regardless of your industry, it’s important to hire employees that can come up with unique solutions to company problems. You can throw them a curve ball and ask a question like “why are manhole covers round?” or use a less intimidating approach by providing an example of a workplace problem and asking them to explain how they’d respond. Be aware that the answer might not be thorough, given the time constraints, but it will help you determine their problem-solving abilities.
  • Examine how they treat others. Interviewees will almost always be on their best behaviour with the interviewer, but how do they treat other people in your company? Are they polite to your receptionist? Do they make small talk with the person that gives them a tour of the office? It’s important to determine whether your potential new hire is a jerk before it’s too late!


Step 4: Ask Candidates to Complete a Practical Assessment

Practical assessments are a great way to pinpoint a candidate’s skills and can also serve as a subjective way to measure their abilities against other candidates. Our clients have the best success rates when they incorporate other forms of assessments into the interview process. We recommend using a practical assessment that closely matches the day-to-day responsibilities of the role; for example, if you’re hiring a copywriter, ask them to complete a writing sample or if you’re hiring an accountant, ask them to complete a quick problem-solving task.

Step 5: Check References

Once you’ve found a candidate that fits into your team and matches your desired qualifications, we’ll check their references. It’s important to speak with their recommendations before hiring a new employee as referees can tell you about the character of your chosen candidate and whether their a good hire. They also provide additional insight into the candidate's experience, work ethic and relationships.

Step 6: Provide a Formal Job Offer & Give Candidates Feedback

After we’ve checked a candidate’s references, we’ll provide them with a formal job offer. The formal proposal will include a start date, salary information and any other details that’ll help them decide to accept the job.

Once they’ve accepted, we’ll provide constructive feedback to the unsuccessful candidates. From a job seeker’s perspective, there’s nothing more frustrating than attending an interview and not hearing back. Candidates will appreciate the feedback and may even apply for future positions.

Take the Hassle Out of Recruitment

Our dedicated recruitment consultants are experts at finding the perfect new employee for your company. Rather than trying to navigate the recruitment process on your own, we can provide professional assistance to make the journey smoother and quicker. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.

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