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Six common hiring questions and the answers you need to hear

In an era characterised by record low unemployment and fierce competition, securing high calibre Candidates is not as straightforward as posting a job ad and watching the talent roll in. From technological advances to generational differences and shifting Candidate expectations, a number of hiring hurdles await Employers eager to recruit people with the right skills at the right time. In our work with hiring managers within businesses large and small, these are the most common recruiting questions we receive along with the answers you need to enhance your hiring process and attract the best Candidates to your company:

1. How can I attract the right Candidates?

There is no silver bullet solution to this challenge; rather, there are several things you should be doing to boost your chances of attracting the right talent. It starts with creating a clear job description, one that is succinct yet specific. This should act as your framework for interview questions, at which point you should employ measures to check whether the spec has been correctly understood by a Candidate. Involving people who will actually work with the selected Candidate is also important as they will have frontline knowledge of what the person will need to excel in the role.

2. What matters more – potential or experience?

Hiring on potential alone can feel like a leap of faith, but there are some instances in which it is undoubtedly the right decision. High potential Candidates who have little or no relevant experience in your industry often bring fresh perspectives and a sense of adaptability – as such, jobs that involve plenty of problem-solving are often best filled by individuals with high potential. With the right training, talented Employees can flourish and will be more inclined to grow with your company as you demonstrate your commitment to their development. 

3. How can I attract a diverse range of Candidates? 

It’s no secret that a diverse workforce makes for a more productive business, nor that diverse businesses regularly outperform their non-diverse competitors. The first step you should take to attract a diverse range of Candidates is to widen your talent pool, extending your reach to groups you may not have considered. The next is to nip unconscious bias in the bud by making sure your interview panel incorporates a diverse selection of your staff. 

4. How do I avoid a bad hire? 

According to the latest figures from REC, the cost of a bad hire for a position with a salary of £42,000 can lead to a cost of £132,015. This is clearly a worst case scenario but there are significant costs in making a poor appointment.  Avoiding this costly mistake requires hiring managers to resist compromising in order to fill the role quickly and to keep their focus fixed on what makes for an ideal Candidate. Although job descriptions are a good place to start in offering assistance in determining the competencies you seek from Candidates, incorporating behavioural assessments into current talent management as well as the recruitment process should shed some light on what traits are shared by the high performers in your business.

5. What makes for a great Candidate experience? 

In a highly competitive market, the talent war is won by companies who work to build and maintain strong Employer brands. One of the most crucial elements of your Employer brand is your Candidate experience. Ask yourself, how long is your hiring process? Are there areas that could stand to be streamlined? Force your Candidates to jump through hoops and you risk losing them to the competition. The key is communication: more than anything, Candidates seek transparency. A few days may feel like no time to you, but it can feel like years to a job seeker. The least you can do is keep the process engaging and your Candidates in the loop. 

6. How can data enhance recruitment?

Most hiring managers are well-versed in recruitment technology, yet many still struggle to effectively use data to drive their decisions and enhance the hiring process. From Candidate source and location to cost per hire, quality of hire and retention rate, analysing the data generated from your recruitment process will enable you to identify current areas of weakness and make improvements where possible. 

Kate Allen

Kate Allen

Kate founded Allen Associates in 1998 out of a determination to build a recruitment business which delivered a bespoke service centred on the needs of clients and candidates.

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