Finding the one…perfect hire

With February being the month of love, we decided to look at the similarities between online dating and recruiting.

Online dating is becoming increasingly popular and everyone knows that first impressions count for a lot. People look to personal profiles to decide who they want to take on a date. But how many soulmates have missed their shot at love by not giving enough time to a profile and focussing too much on looks? With the likes of websites , such as  LinkedIn, encouraging users to add a profile picture – are we using the same ‘looks first’ approach to finding a potential candidate and missing out on the ‘no-profile picture’ perfect hire?

The advice here might not be groundbreaking, but it’s advice that shouldn’t be overlooked, when following it could save you a pretty penny.  With the CIPD estimating that at least £8,000 is lost per ‘bad hire’, employing the wrong person is not something that is financially feasible to any business.  Plenty of care should therefore go into finding the right fit for you.

Comb the CV 

Employers are starting to have the same online access to potential hires as someone looking to find a partner. LinkedIn offers recruiters the option to view their Candidate’s professional profile, while Twitter and Facebook offer further insights into their jobseeker’s psyche. It is up to the Candidate to catch the Employer’s attention and the Employer’s role to weed out the information they need. This is why, just like the ‘adventurer’ dating type might be looking out for a token gap year mention, extra care should be taken to make sure you’re not missing that key CV ingredient.  

Any hidden dealbreakers?

Read and re-read their application. It is very easy to gloss over a CV, especially if you’ve had a pile of applications to work through, but the ones that you have chosen to take to the next stage need extra attention. They may have the relevant experience, but there may also be elements you might be missing or that need further enquiry. Are there gaps in their work history? You might be more inclined to find out why this was and what they filled this time doing. Have they got a habit of staying in jobs for only a few months before moving on? It all depends on what you value in an employee as to who you invite to the interview stage.

Have they made the effort?

Also, much like the frustrating opener equivalent of ‘Hi, how are you?’, see if their covering letter sounds original and catered for your role or if it looks like a generic, blanket approach that they have just fired off to all and sundry. You want to make sure you are singling people out who have a passion for your business and real desire to work for you. This goes a long way to establishing potential longevity at your company and intent to progress within the business, rather than for example, using an entry level job as a stepping stone to break into a different company more aligned with the interests they’ve listed on their CV that you may have missed. This is where someone with less experience, but with a passion for your business, could actually be the better choice than someone with experience, but who appears to jump from company to company.

Meeting the team

Also, making sure a person fits in with the company is of great importance to keeping your business as dynamic and fresh as possible. Think of this in a similar vein to how you’d imagine a potential partner fitting in with your friends, and ask about hobbies and interests rather than solely rating their interview performance on past experience. Think about the values you have as a company and look to align yourself with prospective employees in the same ilk. If a candidate is looking for a company with a hands-on approach to management and likes to have clear and consistent tasks every day, but your style is to let a proactive employee manage their own workload, even if they seem great in other respects it probably isn’t going to work out in the long run.

In short, just like in the online dating world, it is all about knowing what you want and being on the right side of picky in order to get it. But remembering to keep that open mind for when an unexpected curve ball appears that could be too valuable to ignore.

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