Recruitment: How to Pick the Right Person, part 2

In part one of this series, we looked at the importance of a high-quality job description and carefully defined job requirements. In this second and last part, you will learn how you can use those two modules to enhance the efficiency of your recruitment efforts.

3. The job ad: Steps one and two are the foundation upon which you build your job ad. Treat the composition of your job ad with as much care: A good job ad attracts the right people while discouraging the wrong ones. It therefore, acts as an efficient filter, leading to more relevant applications. These are the main components:

1. Job title: Use the most common title known for this role - even it is called something different within your company. It helps potential candidates find the job ad and understand immediately what it is about. Rule of thumb: Make it as easy to find as possible and as easy to understand as possible.

2. Introduction: In a short introduction, include the most important facts: The department / team of this job, the preferred starting date, if it's permanent or temporary, full-time or part-time (if the latter, include the number of hours / week).

3. Tasks: Use your job description from step 1 to pick the top five tasks of this job role. Don't put in minor tasks - they only bloat your job ad and distract from the main content (you could add a line such as "Other minor job-related tasks" instead). Be accurate, but succinct.

4. Skills and experience: In step 2, you determined essentials and desirables. In the job ad, be explicit about which is which. Also, just like in the task section, make it short: Try not to exceed 5 points. Also, don't mention any soft skills that aren't essential for this specific job role: Everyone expects people to be team players etc. 5. Benefits: Don't forget to include a short "elevator pitch": Why should someone work for you and not for your competitor? Try to find something unique, something that makes you stand out.

6. Application: Tell people how they can apply. Offer several options and make it as easy as possible for them: Removing thresholds in this step can give you an important competitive edge. For instance, tell them to just send you a link to their professional online profile or CV is they have one.

4. The selection process Finding the perfect candidate among a pile of applications is a delicate matter. The following four steps will help you get there:

1. Sorting applications: For the first sorting phase, you only need to answer one question: Are the essential requirements met? Usually, the applicant's CV answers this question regarding their skills and experience, the cover letter regarding their personality. In a second phase, you sort the remaining applications by including desirables. That way, you should be able to come up with a list of the five best matches.

2. Phone interviews: A phone (or internet video) interview can be useful as a means to fact-check a candidate's application and to get a first impression regarding their personality, their motivation, their preferences etc. This will serve as a good basis upon which to decide if you want to see them for a face-to-face interview.

3. Face-to-face interviews: In this last interaction with the candidate, you need to find the answer to two questions: Will they be able to do the job? And are they a good fit for the company? Depending on the skill set required, specific questions or an aptitude test may be necessary to answer the first question. As for the second question, it is often helpful to describe a scenario and ask the applicant for their evaluation or their reaction. Usually, the line manager is responsible for the fist part, the HR manager for the second.

4. Evaluation and selection: It's important to discuss and document your impressions and findings directly after the interview: Many things will be much harder to remember later, especially if you have several interviews a day. Therefore, you should set-up the interview and its evaluation as one coherent meeting. At the end of the evaluation, you should be able to answer two questions: Is the candidate suitable for the position? And if yes, would they be your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice? This will help you in cases where your 1st choice candidate declines your offer: You can simply move down the list until one of the qualified candidates accepts.

This concludes our two-part series about finding the best people for your company. Would you like to share your own recruitment experience? We'd love to hear from you: Feel free to leave a comment below this article.

If you would like to read more about the topic of employment, then download the eBook The Seven Deadly Sins of Employment: How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Made By Employers by Russell HR Consulting. Also, have a look at our website where you'll find many more eBooks.