Increasing the odds of securing the perfect candidate.

column-181570480How to increase the odds of securing the perfect candidate.

Recruiting the right person isn’t easy. Finding certain skill sets and experience can be tough. But finding them wrapped up in the presentable package of the right individual who just “gets” your company culture and ethos can be like searching for the proverbial “’en’s teeth” as my father in law would say. But even when you have identified some people that you would like to interview and assess, sometimes, that is only half the battle. The tips below may help smooth the way to help you land your preferred candidate.

Speed & Decisiveness

Time kills all deals. It’s an old saying, but pretty hard to disprove. Often, good candidates will be in high demand and lengthy application and assessment processes can mean that you will miss out. Likewise, they will also be aware of this and if you take too long to offer them any news, you may find they have already struck a line through their application with you and moved on.

If possible, work to the assumption that the next person you interview is going to be the right person and be ready for what you need to do next to secure them. Work out a time line for when you intend to get back to the people you meet, and agree this with any colleagues that join you in the interview. This will help let your candidates know just how organised and efficient you are, and how interested you are in them.

Be flexible

From a candidate’s point of view, working full time and finding a new job is pretty time consuming. Often holiday allowances may be exhausted and time off to slip away unnoticed from the office can be close to impossible. Typically, those in employment favour out of hours appointments. Failing that, either at the very beginning or end of the day is often popular.

Adapt your style to each person. On paper, they all must look suitable for the position, otherwise why would you meet them? But different personalities mean that some people sell themselves better than others, or come across more confident rather than suffering from nerves. If you can adapt your interview technique to bring the best out of each person, you may just find a real gem.

Keep in touch

Knowledge is power. And news is one of the key providers of knowledge. Acknowledge receipt of applications. Send replies to everyone who applies if possible. After all, they may not be suitable on this occasion for this job, but they may be perfect for a hard to fill position your colleague is working on.

If you like a candidate, let them know. If you cannot offer any feedback until next week, let them know. A quick phone call or email to let someone know that an interview has been postponed and a decision cannot be made until Monday, is news, even though it may not quite be what they were expecting or hoping to hear. If someone feels like they’re being kept in mind, they will remain interested in you as an employer. It’s also a fantastic and free way to keep your company reputation sparkling.

The human element

Unfortunately, there aren’t any guarantees in recruitment. And the key reason for that is because we are dealing with humans. Humans are amazing. We’re capable of so much. Including changing our minds for no apparent reason. You can do everything right, and make a generous and timely offer. But they still have the capability to say “no thanks” and turn all your efforts on their head. If you have adhered to an efficient and productive recruitment process, and kept in touch with other candidates that were interested, hopefully, if this does occur you may have a second choice that is informed, impressed and hoping to hear from you.

Watson Evans Associates is a recruitment consultancy providing experienced and qualified accountancy & finance, HR, marketing and admin staff to business throughout Cornwall and Devon. More information can be found at

When you are looking for your next employee please get in touch with Oliver Watson at Watson Evans Associates to chat through how we can help on either 01872 306111 or

When you are looking for the next move in your career please get in touch for a confidential chat with Oliver Watson on 01872 306111 or

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