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13th August 2019

Finding the right person for a key role

Whether you are recruiting for a brand new role or attempting to replace a valued team member finding the right fit isn’t always straightforward.


There are some roles that are easy to fill but others are more difficult. It can be particularly difficult if the role is very varied and you are looking for one person who will be expected to wear different hats.


If a role is people facing and personality is as important as skills and experience this can be tricky too. It can be hard to really get to know a person from just one interview.


The most important thing to do is consider the priorities. Think about what is most important to the organisation. Once you know what is absolutely essential then move onto the rest of the wish list.


When considering what is absolutely essential to the role the key is to be realistic. In an ideal world you might be looking for a fluent Mandarin speaker with accountancy qualifications, at least ten years’ experience in a similar organisation and experience of managing internal coms but is that realistic? Which of those elements is most important?


Once you have a clear picture of the person you are looking for then discuss your priorities with a recruitment consultant. In addition to skills, experience and personality, it is useful at this stage to think about how quickly you want to recruit and what the employment terms will be. Are you in a position to wait a bit longer for the right candidate? What if they have a long notice period? If you need someone next week to start in a permanent role then this will mean you have a smaller pool of candidates to select from. Would you consider someone part-time for the role?


Once shortlisting has taken place and the interview stage begins it helps if you have a strategy for the interviews. The approach will depend on the role and your organisation. Think about who should meet the candidates. Do they need to meet all of them or just the final two? Do you need to include a presentation or a practical skills test to see how each individual approached a task?


Plan questions in advance. It is fine if at the end of the interview other questions come up or a more informal conversation develops but to be in a position to make a comparison there will be key questions that each interviewee should be asked.


Referencing is also crucial. A candidate might interview brilliantly but are they consistently brilliant?


Recruiting is never an exact science. Sometimes you just instinctively know if an interviewee is right and on other occasions it is about looking at all the applicants objectively and really weighing things up. With the right recruitment consultant on hand they can help you through the process from start to finish and will work with you until you have the perfect fit.