I have a romantic notion about finding the perfect candidate; it’s like searching for your soul mate. Your perfect candidate, like your soul mate, needs to have the right skills and expertise for the ‘role’ plus similar values, beliefs and motivations. Would you look deep into the eyes of your significant other and ask if you could put things on hold to review a few other candidates, you know, just to be entirely sure they are the right match? No?
So, why do you need a comparison?
You want to see what else is out there | Ensure the position description or key selection criteria fully identifies what skills the ‘perfect’ candidate needs to have. Be meticulous in using them as the basis for forming your shortlist. If a candidate ticks all the boxes in this area, as well as culturally, what more do you need? If you’re working with an agency, ask them about their process. They are likely to have reviewed a large number of candidates against the criteria before sending any your way.
You want to make the final call | We understand that as the hiring manager, you will know who best fits the bill but if you’re working with a recruitment agency, make use of the resources at your fingertips. Trust your recruiter! If they haven’t offered a comparison, it’s because they’ve eliminated them for lacking the key selection criteria you provided. Sending an extra resume for the sake of comparison damages our reputation for sourcing high-performing candidates!
They don’t have enough experience | If you assume that more experience = better candidates then you will be missing out high-performing individuals who are likely quicker learners, or have innovated processes, to succeed quickly in their previous positions. Ensure your interview questions give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate the required competencies and try to ignore your inner ‘experience’ bias.
They’re too experienced | Why wouldn’t you want a candidate who is over-qualified for the role? Be open-minded and ask questions. Why are they seeking a role that they have already done? What progression expectations do they have? Where do they see their career going? They may be taking a step back due for personal reasons or looking for experience in a new industry. Don’t be threatened by the ‘over-qualified’ candidate until you’re sure what their motivations are.
You want to find the best culture fit | Finding a candidate who is a good “culture fit” is acceptable; choosing the candidate you like the most is not. To avoid this blurring of lines, compare candidates against the qualities and values your work culture encompasses, rather than against other candidates. You need someone who is aligned with company goals and principles, not just the one you ‘like’ the most.
The truth of the matter is that the perfect candidate won’t hang around. If they’re in the market for a new job they’ll be considering other options, particularly if they aren’t currently working. If it’s a temp you’re looking for then a real sense of urgency is required; every hour you put a temp ‘on hold’ is an hour they could be being paid elsewhere for working.
Ultimately, hiring managers need to look beyond the idea that the more candidates you have to choose from, the more likely you are to find the perfect one. Luckily, as recruiters, we are your personal match makers; you provide the criteria, we provide ‘the one’.
By Claudia Bellwood, Temp Consultant, Rusher Rogers
To hire high-performing temps for your business, contact Claudia here
Read on for more on how Rusher Rogers takes ownership of your recruitment process.