If you’ve had difficulties finding the right candidate for a position you’re trying to fill, you’re certainly not alone. Although you might receive a lot of applications, finding that perfect candidate—even after you’ve gone through rounds of interviews—can be challenging.
Our complicated world
With the speed at which technology moves, things are changing minute by minute. High school, college and technical school curricula are not always up to speed, so to speak, with this fact. In order to pay attention to the left hand, sometimes the right hand does not know what the other is doing. This doesn’t make people bad, or ill intentioned.
Let’s say, for instance, a fabulous technician is your leading candidate. He or she is experienced, fits the job and you like the person’s attitude. So you hire this person only to find out that they are a poor written communicator. Should a company be expected to teach this person how to write? You have no cause for termination, just because you assume that the educators did their job and that didn’t happen.
It has taken longer than you hoped for, it has cost even more, but you are the happiest employer around. Your newest hire has been great. You are getting positive feedback, the employee is meeting your benchmarks, and all is well in your company’s world. The following are some signs that you have the right person for the role—and if you don’t, how to find that perfect candidate:
Beyond the performance review
Being happy doesn’t mean that the employee laughs a lot, dances in the lunchroom, or hums under his/her breath. That could happen, but there is a far more significant indicator and what is nice is that it can be documented for the benefit of the employee and for the department and the company overall.
One vehicle is the employee performance review, of course, where facts are tracked—for example, absences and related things. Benchmarks are either tracked as needed, and others are set. All things part of the role is noted.
Even the most cynical of managers does not like to terminate an employee, particularly when it appears that employee had no idea it was about to happen. If there are no signs that someone was “taking the hint” and looking for new employment, this is tough, but sometimes necessary.
You’re forced to downsize
If the company is downsizing, and it is being respectful of such issues as seniority, if applicable, at least there is a bit more impersonal reason to explain to the employee why he/she is being terminated. You can offer a letter of recommendation and, hopefully, the company will put together a good severance package. If insurance is not part of that package, you can take extra time to explain options, or, better yet, call in someone from HR on the spot to answer questions. Let him/her know if there are similar companies around or, in special cases, “people you know.” Stay within the guidelines of the company when doing this, however.
Finding the right person for the position you’re looking to fill can clearly be one of the biggest hurdles that any hiring manager faces. Just because
someone looks great on their resume doesn’t mean they are a perfect fit. Some other obstacles that employers typically face during the hiring process include:
Promoting from within vs. outside hire
One big hurdle you may face is whether to promote within or go with an outside hire. Your company’s policies must be followed to the letter. For example, companies typically post their jobs and support promotion from within, and you may need to start there.
Make sure any employee who comes forward is given a fair opportunity, so there are no problems when hiring goes outside, if needed
If you are looking to possibly promote within, it’s a good idea to also get started on an outside job search as well. This way, if an internal candidate doesn’t turn out to be a good match, you wouldn’t have wasted too much time if you have an outside job search underway.
When an employee suddenly quits, your reaction in the eyes of the public must be professional, but immediate. This includes your reactions to not just your boss, but to your company’s employees, other members of your staff, and clients, if applicable. If this was unforeseen, you will have your own feelings about the matter. Shock could be normal, as could self-doubt. Rather quickly, you may feel betrayal and a big question in your mind as to how this extra work will be done, much less done with quality. Perhaps the employee was good enough to brief you upon his/her as to where the workload was at, but under the circumstances, it could be sketchy at best.
To be blunt, like most things in business, the primary reason for hiring the right candidate the first time is the cost of hiring. One of the big costs is time, which is mostly regarding the interview process, making and negotiating an offer, as well as about processing time to complete the hire, such as enrolling for insurance and payroll.
Other costs to consider
There are pre-interview costs, such as reviewing stacks of resumes. Therefore, when you come across final candidates, you won’t usually want to waste much time. There is a cost to time spent on arranging interviews, including follow-up interviews. This also includes coordinating with other hiring managers and interviewers, which can be a time consuming process in itself. There are other costs you may have to factor in, such as hiring a recruiter, which can be a costly option that may not yield the results you’re looking for. It can take weeks, or even months, for an outside recruiter to find qualified candidates for the position, and even then, they may not be exactly what you’re looking for.