A vital recruitment tool that you need to be using is a task-based assessment that is not only a barrier to poor candidates, but is a great way of highlighting a really good candidate. But it’s not that simple. Before you even get to that stage there are a number of steps that you must follow to design a successful recruitment strategy.

Here are the five key elements:

1. DEFINING WHAT YOU NEED – Clear objectives, a job description, a person specification that defines the person you need in the role, including their profile, to get everything achieved in the way you need it to be done.

2. RESEARCH– Information specific to each post that tells you if the kind of people you need are available, where to find them, what package they need and any specific issues you might have filling this post in your location.

3. ADVERTISEMENT – An advertisement that only attracts the kind of people you are looking for, not hundreds of unsuitable candidates. Even adverts can be designed to attract candidates that have the right characteristics and deter those that don’t. Pretty neat,huh?

4. LOW OR NO EFFORT FILTERS –Ways of filtering your candidates that require little effort so not searching through mountains of resumes and CVs, making it as easy as possible to identify good candidates quickly and early in the process and reject the poor ones.

5. CANDIDATE ASSESSMENT– A method for assessing candidates objectively against all your criteria (which could be 50 or more). This needs to be easy and quick to do so you can tell at a glance which candidates meet your criteria and which don’t.

The core purpose of a hiring or recruitment process is to find new employees who will achieve the objectives and goals you have, in the way that you need them to be achieved. In other words, to do exactly the job you require.

Remember, when you use all of these five steps all of this is done before you even see the candidate.

Using an effective process it’s quite possible to filter out most of the poor candidates very early on, so you can focus on a small number of promising applications and be very thorough in your assessment of them.

I would put money on the fact that anyone who made a bad hire wasn’t using a thorough process including all the steps I’ve listed.

“How is this better than picking people out from their CVs like I’ve been doing for years?”

To give you something more concrete, here are a few examples of how modern hiring and recruiting is being used to find the right candidates with less time and effort than it often takes to get the wrong ones (notice how these examples are not limited to particular roles or steps in the process, they cover a wide range of tools and jobs):

A poor candidate applies and is directed to your web-based assessment. He or she does not even bother to fill it in because he or she can’t answer the questions, so is immediately eliminated with no effort from you. In fact you are not even aware it’s taken place because it’s completely automated. (NO EFFORT FILTERS)

The results of a web-based assessment from a good candidate with the skills you are looking for arrives. You quickly scan the table of the results that includes 20 other candidates and can instantly see the candidate with the best answers. Notice you have not had to trawl through any CVs or resumes trying to work out which is the best.

Three candidates move forward to an audio interview. You get a table of the results which have already been assessed for you. You merely have to confirm which candidate you would like to take to final interview, the rest is automated.

You have a candidate for a receptionist post. As part of her final interview, you put her on the desk for half an hour. During that time she sells £400 worth of products (absolutely true story). You now have some really useful and reliable evidence about her sales skills.

Instead of a pile of CVs that are from people who only vaguely seem to meet any of your requirements you have the details of a small number of candidates with clear evidence on how they match up to your agreed criteria.

If I haven’t convinced you that this is a better way then I wish you the best of luck. If I have convinced you and you would like to know more about how to do this then I’ll see you soon!

To your success,

Nancy Slessenger