Choosing the Right Candidate for a New Position

Hiring the right person for the job is never an easy task. HR managers and recruiters must consider the goals of the business, the needs of the department, and candidates’ individual skill sets to find the right candidates for new positions. One of the top recruitment challenges isn’t finding candidates; it’s finding the right candidates. After scouring hundreds or even thousands of resumes and screening candidates over the phone, you’re ready for the in-person or Zoom interviews that can help you narrow down your list. 

Depending on the role, you might have multiple candidates that would make a great addition to the team. Some might have stronger hard skills, while others have the necessary soft skills for the team dynamic. So how do you choose between different great candidates? Check out these tips. 

Read Body Language

You can look for information about a candidate’s personality and professionalism by reading their body language, including gestures and facial expressions. Whether you’re meeting in person or through video conferencing software, ensure you’re paying attention to the candidate’s body language. If you’re conducting the interview through a video call, ensure you utilize software with AI-powered noise reduction capabilities to eliminate auditory distractions. The right person for the job should be confident enough to make eye contact with you and have relaxed body language that’s not so relaxed that it appears unprofessional. 

Focus on Experience

You must look for candidates with specific experiences to ensure they’ll be successful team members. You can focus on the situation, target, action, and result (STAR) method for interviewing individuals by having them explain a situation in which they were able to achieve the desired outcome. 

Of course, you should also focus on their hard skills, which have allowed them to gain the valuable experience that made you interested in interviewing them in the first place. While you want someone who can lead and play well with others, you don’t want someone who can upset the balance of the existing team because they don’t have enough experience, especially if you work in the medical field and are looking for nurses.  

It’s also recommended to do a background check for businesses handling sensitive information or contracted by government agencies. Additionally, for businesses in the finance industry, these background checks can reveal the financial standing of candidates, revealing whether their financial history and debt-management skills make them a good fit. 

Get Feedback

You don’t have to pull a manager or another employee into the interview to learn about candidates for feedback. Instead, you can ask other team members to interview candidates, especially those who would be their managers and know more about the role than you do. Involving the team in the process can ensure you hire the right person for the job. Even though you may strive to understand the necessary skill set, HR professionals and recruiters don’t always know the types of skills to look for in a candidate and can often overlook the most qualified individuals because their resumes describe their skill sets differently. 

If you do in-person interviews, you can talk to everyone who came into contact with the employee, including security personnel or front desk personnel. How the candidate treated these individuals can tell you a lot about whether they’d make a good team member.

Pay Attention to Their Questions 

Every candidate you meet should be curious about the company and the role and come with insightful questions. Of course, if you’ve done a great job of explaining the role and the company, a candidate’s questions might all have been answered during the interview and initial conversations. That being said, most should have questions about what they can expect while working for the company, and these questions can tell you how interested they are in the position. 

Ask About Leadership Style

Even though you may not be interviewing for a leadership position, candidates can expect to work in teams and may have to lead others from time to time. A candidate’s leadership style and how they work with others can help you learn whether or not they’re team players. Believe it or not, many people don’t have the right skills to work with others or solve problems in groups. Instead, they prefer to work on their own. Depending on the role, you might be looking for someone to be part of a collaborative team in which an independent worker will not be the right fit. 

Consider Their Weaknesses

Every candidate hates being asked about their strengths and weaknesses because it doesn’t really ask about their qualifications for the job. That being said, candidates who are a good fit for the role will find a way to tie their strengths and weaknesses into the position. For example, if you’re interviewing a project manager, they could say their weakness is that they haven’t yet worked with the software your team uses, so it might take them a few days to catch up on the process. In this example, the candidate perfectly describes a weakness that relates to the job, not who they are as a person. 

You should also be wary of individuals who claim not to have any weaknesses. There is no perfect candidate for the job, and many people you interview will lack at least one of the skills you’re looking for, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a great addition to the team. Of course, those who claim they don’t have weaknesses may have tons of weaknesses you won’t know about until they’re hired, or they might be one of those people who won’t own up to their mistakes, which can upset the team dynamic. 

Don’t Forget About Soft Skills

While hard skills are important for understanding how the candidate can complete their work on a daily basis, they must also have soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Soft skills can help team members work together and have a positive influence on each other by enhancing and promoting collaboration. 

However, an individual without soft skills can hinder the productivity of the team while also causing potential problems with other team members. You want all your employees to get along and enjoy their jobs, but someone without soft skills will make it difficult to collaborate, which can make working with them frustrating for others. 

Final Thoughts

When looking for a candidate, try to learn as much about their role as possible. One thing many candidates complain about is that the person interviewing them didn’t understand their skill sets or know what types of skills they would need to be successful in the role. Remember, you’re not just interviewing them; they’re interviewing you to decide if they want to work at your company. 

Ashley Nielsen

Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer where she shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness or financial tips. During her free time she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.