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Related article: Recruitment Tips for Building a More Diverse Workplace

Hiring good employees can be challenging. While prospective recruits may have the right skills to match the job – including education and work history – there are multiple characteristics beyond what’s outlined on paper that will determine if an employee is right for the job. And determining whether a person will be the best fit for an open position during the interview process can prove difficult.

If you are in the process of hiring, consider that skills alone do not guarantee that you will hire the right candidate. Prospective employees should posses a combination of skills and characteristics which are harder to quantify. Here are some things to consider.

Clearly define what you are looking for. While not every employee will posses all the skills you outline in your job description, you should prioritize those you consider a “must have”. This will help you weed out good candidates from bad. These requirements may differ from job to job, but should include, at the bare minimum, all the skills needed to perform the job.

For some positions this may be limited to on–the–job experience to understanding of new technology platforms. While other skills include more abstract abilities such as leadership and how well a candidate will perform under stress – the latter of which being much harder to quantify.

For more abstract qualifications, the interview process becomes vital. This is where recruiters should encourage applicants to share real–world scenarios and instances where they were faced with challenges. While these more abstract skills cannot be vetted on paper per se, recruiters can gather a better sense of a candidate’s suitability for the job with these types of open–ended questions.

During this time, recruiter should also focus on the candidate’s personality. Again, they may have the right skills for the job, but if they do not have a personality that allows them to get along with other employees, this can impact their performance, not to mention the performance of the team. Trust your instincts. This is where they will help you determine if the candidate is presenting themselves positively, and make you more confident in your hiring decision.

Recruiting can be unpredictable. Some candidates can look perfect on paper and perform spectacularly during the interview, only to completely stumble once they have been on–boarded. This is where the vetting process must be as detailed as possible before spending time, energy and resources to bring on the wrong employees.

If your recruiters have not taken refresher courses on interviewing, consider doing so. Mock interview sessions where recruiters can test out questions and learn how to gauge body language will better serve in driving good recruiting decisions.

Make sure you have a formal vetting process in place. Recruiters should always check prospective employee’s work history and references. And today, candidate’s online behavior should also be vetted.

Take time to hire. While the urge may be to bring on candidates quickly if you are in need to fill open positions, taking the time to interview, assess and properly vet candidates will better ensure that you hire the right employees with the right skills.

For more recruiting advice or for assistance with your hiring initiatives, visit us today at

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