From LinkedIn to GlassDoor to the Predictive Index, it can seem more complicated than ever to attract and hire the right candidates for your business. Relax: we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know.

#1 Build a pool of candidates before you need them

The best way to find the perfect hire is to start looking before you even need them. Make use of the lists held by headhunters or recruitment agencies; incentivise your employees to refer hires from their own networks; and get out there to trade shows, conferences and educational establishments to scout out the talent you need.

#2 Make a plan and follow it

You cannot afford to be vague about something as important to your business as the hiring process! As soon as a vacancy arises or you create a new position, decide right away on your timescale for filling it (and how flexible you want to be if the right candidate doesn’t emerge right away) and identifying the team who will be in charge of this recruitment process.

#3 Define the job – and the perfect employee

What qualities would the perfect candidate for this role have? Put together a profile and combine this with the job description until you have a checklist of the skills, experience, and qualities you need. Then you will know what the rest of your recruitment process will be aiming to assess.

#4 Make sensible use of ‘new’ hiring methods

You’ll want to make sure you’re using all the latest behavioural assessment techniques relevant to this position and to your company – see #7 below – but you need to make sure your hiring processes are up to date before we get to that. Is your business on LinkedIn? Is your website mobile-friendly? Was this vacancy advertised through your social media channels – and are those channels operated by someone responsive to candidates’ questions?

#5 Invest time in pre-screening

First, the resume. This document will tell you about more than just each candidate’s basic competence. How many previous jobs have they held?  How long did they remain at each? Are there any gaps in their work history? Based on the amount of effort they’ve put into creating their resume and tailoring it to your business, how enthusiastic are they about this role?

#6 Make the most of the interview

The interview is an opportunity to find out about the candidate’s personality: whether they’re creative, have initiative, work well under pressure, have potential to grow in the role, and so on. Based on the questions they ask you in return you will also get a great idea of their priorities and how interested they are in your business.


#7 Use relevant and suitable testing methods

The interview is great for assessing ‘soft skills’, but being good at interview technique does not mean you’d necessarily be good at a job – and vice versa! You may be able to get a more accurate picture of a candidate’s abilities by giving them a test that reflects the work they’ll actually be doing – and a behavioural assessment, carried out by experts like Predictive Success, could also give you an insight into whether they genuinely exhibit the behaviours you’re looking for.

#8 Don’t skip the background check

Even after you’ve made a provisional offer to a candidate, you still have to complete one of the most important parts of the hiring process: chasing up the candidate’s references, and any other relevant background checks.

#9 Follow up with all your candidates

Failing to do this is so, so common – but it gives such a bad picture of your organisation! Even if it’s just by way of a short template email, try to follow up with everyone who took the time to apply. If you’re able to give the shortlisted candidates any feedback on their application, so much the better.


The perfect candidate for your job vacancy is out there – start looking!


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