With organisations up and down the country citing recruitment as their biggest business challenge in 2019, we thought it’s time to share the secrets of successful hiring.

It’s no secret that successful hiring is a tricky skill to master. It is in fact something that 73% of UK firms are struggling with at the moment.

To make matters worse, a lot of recruitment agencies like to keep their cards close to their chest. They don’t want to give away the tricks of the trade because they rely on their customers coming to them for help.

With organisations up and down the country citing recruitment as their biggest business challenge in 2019, we thought it’s time to share the secrets of successful hiring.

Know what you’re looking for

It may sound obvious but it’s actually very common for companies to start the recruitment process without having a clear idea of who their ideal candidate is. Knowing what you’re looking for is however key to successful hiring (it will also speed up the process).

Try to have an in-depth understanding of the role you’re looking to fill because this will enable you to quickly determine who has the required experience. It also ensures candidates have a clear purpose and planned goals for the position when they do join.

These key questions should help you to identify exactly what you’re looking for:

  • Why do I need a new employee?
  • What duties and responsibilities will the successful candidate have?
  • What skills or abilities are required to succeed in the role?
  • Where does this role fit within the wider business structure?

Write a good job description

Your job description is the first thing potential employees will read so it’s important to get it right.

Break your job description down into two categories: the role you’re recruiting for and the type of candidate you’re looking for.

Attracting the right applicants during the recruitment process largely comes down to getting these two components right so it's well worth spending time on them.

When writing your job description, try to include key responsibilities because this will give candidates a clear indication of what the role involves, who they’ll be working with and what the successful applicant looks like.

When it comes to your person specification, be sure to characterise the type of skills and mindsets that will flourish in the role. This helps you to attract people that are going to fit in well with the culture of your organisation. For decades, companies have focused on the job and not the person. It’s vital that you hire people who share your company's values and fit your culture because if they don’t, it’s unlikely they’re going to work out long-term.

Prepare well for the interview

The interview is ultimately what will help you decide who to hire. Good preparation is key to getting the most out of this conversation. Go into it knowing what talking points are most important to cover, including highlights from their CV and of course key requisites for the role.

Some top tips include:

  • Don’t just ask surface questions. Prepare questions that dive deep into candidates’ professional backgrounds so you can really determine how well they’re suited to the job.
  • Avoid asking abstract questions for the sake of seeing how applicants react. Keep the conversation relevant to the role.
  • Remember that interviews are a two-way process. Candidates are also trying to figure out if your business is the right fit for their career so sell the benefits of the position and the organisation.

Keep in touch

It’s a jobseeker’s market out there which means that good candidates are hard to attract. A large part of a jobseekers’ decision making process will be based on how they were treated during the hiring process. Studies have shown that clear and unambiguous communication throughout the hiring process means that even if a candidate doesn’t get the job, they still maintain a positive experience of the company.

Providing a good candidate experience is crucial when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. It’s also key to managing the reputation of your business which is something that really matters when it comes to attracting applicants in the first place.

52% of candidates say they get frustrated by slow feedback, 44% are put off a role if there has been poor communication from the recruiter and 39% get annoyed about delayed decision-making.

The candidate experience can be greatly improved by simply communicating in a clear and open manner. People want to feel they’ve been heard and that the time they’ve put into applying for roles and attending interview is appreciated and valued.

If you need help with any aspect of the recruitment process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Alpha.