Do you follow your gut when hiring?

Imagine you’re interviewing a candidate and things are going well. They are friendly, dressed well and presentable and answer your questions confidently and articulately. You feel there’s definitely a rapport between you and are increasingly certain you’ve got the right person. However, as soon as they start in the role it’s obvious that they are completely unsuitable for the job. So what went wrong?

Many business leaders are fond of boasting that they ‘go with their gut’ when making decisions, including choosing who to hire. But there’s an increasing body of evidence that shows this is a very risky strategy and that hiring based on first impressions and subjective opinions is very unreliable.

Hiring from the gut tends to mean you hire people who are good at writing CVs and interviewing, rather than someone who is actually good at the job. You’re also far more likely to hire a ‘mini-me’, as we automatically tend to prefer candidates who act and look like us, which is bad for the diversity and productivity of your workforce.

Recruiting the wrong person can be a costly business; it’s estimated that replacing a poor hire within their first 6 months will cost around 2.5 times their salary, plus there’s the time taken up with recruiting and drops in productivity while the post is vacant. So how can you ensure you get hard evidence that a candidate is right for the job?

1. Prepare before you hire

Most companies are worried about leaving roles open for any length of time so tend to hire a straightforward replacement for the vacancy to get someone in place as soon as possible. Spending a bit more time re-examining the job description for that role and thinking about what you’d really like it to achieve could be much more beneficial in the long term. Would someone with a completely different skill set take the role to new heights? Could you split up responsibilities or add new ones? Taking the time to answer these questions before you start recruiting will save you time in the long run.

It’s also a good idea to decide in advance who else needs to be involved in the hiring process, and check that they don’t have a completely different agenda.

2. Screen your candidates

Smart ways to shortlist marketing candidates

This is by far the hardest step to get right. Most companies are inundated with applications for their roles and don’t have much time to devote to the selection process. They tend to flick through the applicants’ CVs looking for those that most closely match the job description and then invite those candidates to an unstructured interview, where they pick the one they like the best.

Advances in technology mean that there are now many different ways in which employers can both improve the selection process and save themselves time and money. Our new guide, Smart Ways to Shortlist Marketing Candidates, takes a detailed look at some of the best.

3. Sell the role

Finally, don’t forget to sell your role to the candidate; making sure they know why your company is a great place to work and keeping them excited about the job. There’s a lot of competition for the best candidates and your favourite is likely to be another company’s front-runner as well.

Keeping candidates eager and enthusiastic about the role and keeping the hiring process as short and smooth as possible gives you a much better chance of actually being able to hire the employee you like best.

Plus a bonus step – use a recruiter!

Making sure you recruit exactly the right person is a time-consuming and complicated process, but a good recruiter can help you short-cut the process. Specialist recruitment consultancies like The Tarsh Partnership have an extended network of candidates, many of whom may not be actively looking for a new role, but would be delighted to be approached

They will handle all the initial stages of shortlisting CVs and applications for you and make sure you only spend your valuable time selecting from people who can actually do the role. Plus, they will act as a third party advocate for your role, making sure candidates are kept up to date and enthused throughout the process.

If you’d like to discuss a specific role, get in touch with us on 020 7849 6875 or to find out how we can help.

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Recruitment Advice