Finding the Right Talent in a Competitive Candidate Pool
A competitive candidate pool is both a blessing and a curse for recruiters. While it is great to have lots of qualified candidates to choose from, when every one of them could conceivably be the right hire, it makes it difficult to identify which candidates are the most qualified to be interviewed. Considering the weak job market over the past few years, this phenomenon is becoming increasingly common. If you’re trying to find the best of the best, fall back on these proven strategies:
Define Your Ideal Candidate
As part of your job posting, you probably defined the skills that were required for the position, but have you taken the time to define exactly what your ideal candidate would be? Recruiters often struggle to make the right choice because they are lacking a more specific profile that includes character attributes, or valuable information about their background and experience, which will contribute to the success of the position.
One step to consider when defining the type of candidate who will be most successful, is to discuss the needs of the position and the team that the new employee will be working with. Create a profile that highlights the hard skills, including those in the job description, as well as the soft skills and personality traits that will help to define the type of candidate with the most potential for success.
Focus on Soft Skills
You have a pool of candidates who all have similar skills and experiences. However, they certainly don’t have the same personalities. Using the profile from the definition of the ideal candidate, you will be able to narrow the candidate base to only those that have the highest potential for success. Some might be talented but also bad at working in teams, impatient with co-workers, incapable of communicating clearly, or uncommitted to professional development. Find the candidates who have both the hard and soft skills that you are looking for, and you can narrow down your field of candidates significantly.
Think About Your Company Culture
Ultimately, you are looking for candidates who share your core values and will work to meet the broader mission of your organization. Unlike soft skills, fitting into a company culture is not all about interpersonal skills. It is more about a candidate’s personal philosophy, their professional goals, and their overarching opinions about business and technology. Look for the candidate who best exemplifies your company culture, or who seems most eager and equipped to integrate into the organization.
Broaden Your Recruiting Efforts
If you are still at a loss for whom to hire, consider incorporating additional screening methods to your recruiting strategy. You could invite candidates to take a skills test, to spend a day on the job, to work on a project as a contractor with a potential co-worker, or to offer their thoughts on issues affecting your company or industry. If you don’t have the information you need to make a decision, determine what information you’re missing, and find a way to get it from each of the candidates you are considering.
This complicated situation just underscores the challenges of successful recruiting. Even when you’re overwhelmed with candidate options, applying the above filters will help narrow the candidate pool to those who will have the greatest impact to not only the skill sets needed for the position but also to the department and organization at large. Partnering with an organization like CultureFit will help you create a dynamic candidate screening process to help your organization establish a well-rounded talent pool, finding the resources you need to make the right hiring decision every time.