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In Search Of Full-Time Candidates? Tips On How To Be Successful In Your Search - Articles Surfing

In today's competitive labor market, good help is getting increasingly difficult to find. The aging baby boomer population has created a hiring crunch of qualified human resources. Human Resources Development Canada's Job Futures 2000 (www.jobfutures.ca) tells us that because more and more people are changing positions annually, either entering or leaving the workforce and employers have become bold in the recruiting process far more often in the past decade. With all of the current conditions, it is clear that employers must pay a lot of attention to their hiring processes - from screening resumes, to the actual interview, and most importantly to business reference checking. It is essential to take your time to hire the right candidate. In the end, it will pay off for both your organization and the candidate.

This process, definitely brings with it frustrations when one is forced to neglect their daily job responsibilities to screen countless resumes and hold continuous interviews until the right candidate is found. Aside from frustration, it is also going to cost you financially. It has been estimated that it costs from $5,000 to $30,000 to go through an interview process, and that is without hiring a recruiting firm. You need to decide how valuable is your time and the cost becomes a tradeoff. Hiring a recruiting agency, which will do a thorough job and understands the organizational needs, will save you a lot of time and frustration. Let the agency do all the preparatory work and present you with a short list of suitable candidates. Recruiting agencies charge a fee based on a percentage of the employee's first year income. The fee ranges from 15% to 30% depending on the position. Whether you engage a recruiting agency, get some help from your Human Resources department (providing you have one) or do it all alone, the high costs of hiring are a reality, either monitory or your valuable time. At the same time, cutting corners will end up costing you much more. An executive director of a leading staffing firm articulated it as follows: "Hiring mistakes are costly - in terms of training and recruiting expenses as well as lost productivity. More significant is the toll a poor staffing decision can take on employee morale".

How to avoid costly hiring mistakes?

No method is 100% guaranteed! However, here are a few suggestions to assist you in ending up with a successful hire.

To attract the right candidate, know your specific needs. Write down the roles and responsibilities of the position, so that job seekers will be able to screen themselves in or out. Make sure you know how the position fits into the organization, what the skills, education and personality requirements are of the successful candidate. Make it a goal to advertise the job you are looking to fill as well as your organization. Your advertising needs to be balanced. Be careful not to oversell or undersell.

There are several methods of letting people know about current staffing needs of the organization:

Networking - let your employees and your contacts know that you are looking to fill a position. They may be aware of an ace that is unhappy at his or her current position and are looking to move on. It is a proven fact that only 50% of jobs are actually advertised. Advertise - in trade publications, all the applicable websites, and the newspaper. Adverting in The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail will automatically bring your advertisement to the career site www.workopolis.com at no additional charge and will be posted there for 45 days. Hire a recruitment agency on contingency basis. Negotiate your fees upfront and get it in writing. Next step:

Your marketing campaign has paid off. There are piles of resumes on your desk. Once again, think of your valuable time! Separate the resumes into the following criteria:

Absolutely Not A possibility Strong possibility Definitely bring in for interview Elimination is easy. The candidate you want to bring in for interview requires additional work on your part. You made your list, and you know what are the specific criteria of the position. Knowing these facts now is the time to decide which candidates to bring in for an interview.


Always look whether the applicant meets your expectations from all-aspects: Education, work experience, the type of position/s previously held. The cover letter will reveal the candidate's written skills. Look for stability. Although it is common today to change positions, look at how frequently the positions were changed; are you comfortable with that kind of movement? The presentation of the resume is of extreme importance as well. Is the resume organized properly? How many pages? More than three pages, including the cover letter is excessively long. Did the applicant list their accomplishments? Did the candidate include a small description of each organization? Are there any spelling mistakes? Did you read the resume with ease and interest? The "definitely bring in for interview" pile is now no more than five individuals. Interviewing Process:

A successful interview is one, which is planned and prepared for. Keep the interview itself to no more than an hour long. Ask between 15 - 20 questions written in advance, and posed to all candidates alike. It is important to assess the candidate's soft skills as well as potential fit within the organizational culture. Take notes during the interview. It will assist you in avoiding the most common hiring pitfall - prejudging candidates, either favorably or unfavorably.

Sample of questions you may want to ask during the interview:

Why are you leaving your current company? Tell me about yourself How do your describe your personality? What did you like best about the current company your are working for? What did you like least about the current company you are working for? Describe your current job duties Describe one of the best ideas you ever came up with, what was your approach to implementing the idea? What are your major weaknesses? What are your major strengths? Describe a major project with which you had difficulties and how you overcame these difficulties. Describe your working style. (Do you enjoy working independently, in a team setting, etc)* Give an example of when you were not happy with your performance and what you did about it. Describe some projects you generated on your own. What prompted you to begin them, and what was the end result? Why have you chosen the field you are in? What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing this field and the industry? What are your short-term goals? What are your long-term goals? Do you consider yourself a leader? Please provide some examples. Why are you attracted to this position? How would your current supervisor describe you and your work habits? How long have you been searching for a new position? How did you manage to get the time off for this interview? Why are you interested in working for this organization? What kind of remuneration package are you looking for? Why do you believe you are the best candidate for this position? Important to remember: Questions of a personal nature are not to be asked. The federal government Web site Employers Online, at: http://employers.gc.ca will provide you with all the information you need in this area. For mock job interviews and sample questions and answers log onto: www.job-interview.net.

Decision time:

You met with all potential candidates. You asked the same questions. You made your notation as you were going along. It is now the time to decide who is the successful candidate. You assessed everyone's skill set and have a good handle on each candidate's personality. Which candidate will you choose? The one with superb skill set or the one with the best personality fit for your organizational culture. Looks like a complicated question. It is not really. As long as you satisfied yourself that the candidate meets the minimum skill set required for the position, go with the personality which best fits your organizational culture. Why? You or one of your staff members can always train for additional skills. Personality is "non trainable".


You have chosen a candidate whom you believe will fit the organizational structure and has the skill set you were looking for. At this point you need to proceed with business references. In the event that you are working with a staffing agency, let the agency do the business references, unless you prefer to do them yourself. The business references you want to hear from or speak with consist of their direct supervisors, subordinates, perhaps even an external auditor. The importance of the business references? While you spent an hour with the candidate, the business references have worked with the candidate and known him or her for much longer. It is the business references that will be able to confirm the candidate's major strengths, weaknesses, work style, how they get along with the rest of the team and how they perform their daily job. It has happened that based on business references the candidate you thought was the #1 candidate becomes a candidate, which you will now want to hire and have as part of your staff.

I am hopeful that this article will assist you in making the right hiring decisions. Please remember that the candidate evaluates you and the organization as well. To attract good qualified human resources in the new economy requires a lot more than good hiring practices. Today's candidates are seeking organizations that treat employees well, compensate them fairly, have a good benefits package and provide challenge and motivation.

Always believe in yourself and trust the process! We wish you best of luck in your search for qualified human resources!

Submitted by:

Tali Nizic

Tali is the President & CEO of Controllers On Call,(http://www.controllersoncall.ca)niche staffing organization specializing in the placement of middle to executive level Accounting, Finance and Human Resources professionals either on contract or full time positions.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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