Employing the right candidate

Managers seeking to recruit new staff this year will be dealing with a large number of long-term unemployed candidates. Many of them will be focused on a regular pay packet, instead of the role itself.

Julia Perry
Candidate Performance
Julia Perry, an international behavioural analyst and recruitment specialist, argues that the recruitment process can now be scientifically accurate, resulting in better candidates who ‘fit’ both the role and the company culture

Managers seeking to recruit new staff this year will be dealing with a large number of long-term unemployed candidates. Many of them will be focused on a regular pay packet, instead of the role itself. Therefore the risk of employing wrong candidates for vacant positions – both internally and externally – is growing.

The financial and personal costs of making the wrong recruitment decision can be high; both for the organisation and the candidates. Unfortunately, this still happens on a regular basis since we are all guilty of wanting to recruit people we like. When looking to secure the right people for senior roles, a lot of effort goes into considering what hard skills and experience the candidate should have. Afterwards, much recruitment is settled merely on gut feeling and whether the interviewers like the candidate.

Although the recruitment process may seem to be all about a clean CV and the ‘winning interview’, it is still challenging for most directors using the old, short-listing approach not to let personal feelings cloud their judgement when bringing new staff on board.

So how can we tell whether candidates really want the job – or just your money – during a 30 minute interview?  

The short answer is that it is possible to measure this, using a behavioural benchmarking tool.  The term ‘benchmarking’ was originally used by boot and shoe makers, who would place a person’s foot on a bench and mark out a pattern. This was a bespoke process, aiming to produce a good fit.

Using a benchmarking tool in a recruitment context works in a similar way: it seeks to find the best fit for the role from many angles. The first step to achieving this is to engage with your management team to identify what they expect from the role and the person to fill it. A good question to ask at this point is: “If the job could speak, what would it say?” The responses will help you to establish certain criteria that would make the recruitment process more objective.

As manager, it is your role to find out what your team requires when bringing a new employee into the organisation. Senior managers often expect different things from the same person. The benchmark is there to remove this problem.

Usually four senior members of the team take part in the next stage of the benchmarking process. They undertake a small test to identify what they are expecting from the role – this generates scores for further analysis. If their expectations are very different, then this is the time for everyone to meet and clearly define what the role requires and what they are expecting from the candidate. It also creates the opportunity to change the language of the job description to fit the benchmark.

It’s important to remember that the benchmark method is not about psychological profiling. Such profiles focus on past actions and cannot measure how people work within the team. This can only be ascertained when we understand their behaviour and values; both in and out of the workplace, which are the elements examined in-detail by the benchmarking process.  

Taking a benchmark approach to the recruitment process of the company can also have a positive effect on the efficiency of the business. When creating specialised teams, the new manager can quickly review the characteristics and strengths of their team, if all members have been benchmarked.

Julia Perry (www.uimpact.co.uk)  is a recruitment specialist and one of only 20 licensed and accredited behavioural analysts in the UK.

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