Finding the right candidate comes down to one simple rule:  stick to your priorities.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, it is, but it’s also less commonly practiced than one might think.

1.  Know what you want—exactly

It’s impossible to find the perfect candidate if you haven’t spent time figuring out what the perfect candidate looks like.  Starts with a good understanding of the needs you are trying to fill.  Draw up your ideal, perfect, even superhuman image of who you are looking for.  Now, come to grips with the fact that, your ideal person may not exist.  But, that shouldn’t stop you from getting as close to that as possible.  Here’s where the next tip comes in

2.  Decide what traits/qualities/experiences you are not willing to bend on…and don’t

An image of the ideal is, well, idealistic.  So, take that picture of perfection and shave it down so that you are left with needs and absolute must haves.  Essentially, you’ll be creating a hierarchy of needs, for the position in question.  This preemptive step is key to making sure that your base priorities are met.

3.  Interview based on those characteristics

Use your priorities to drive the selection process.  Both the interview questions and interview style should be reflective of the priorities you have set in place.  For example, if exceptional customer service is a priority, then there should be some sort of practical display of those skills either in a mock phone call or service situation.  If interviewing for an accounting job, then there should absolutely be a situational exam or project to complete.

4.  Be willing to pay for the right candidate

If you find someone who resembles your ideal—or at least the prioritized embodiment—can you really afford to pass it up? Ask yourself what is more costly:  to keep a vital position open for six months or to pay a great candidate a bit more than you wanted to?  How much of a setback is it if certain tasks, jobs, or roles go undone?  The right candidate at a slightly higher price point is worth it.

If you know your priorities but just need help sticking to them, all is not lost.  Aside from sourcing and culling applicants, one thing recruiters like us do well is staying focused on the priorities of our clients.  If this type of objectivity is what your candidate search needs, give us a call!

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