The search for the perfect candidate: can it be achieved?

Finding the perfect candidate has always been the holy grail for hiring managers and recruiters.
September 28, 2023

You know, that magical unicorn who has all the skills and experience to fit in seamlessly with the company’s work culture. But what do you do when that mythical creature is nowhere to be found? Well, fear not, because this article from Ian Moore of HR consultancy Lodge Court will tell you why settling for a candidate with 70-80% of the right stuff is actually a smart move. And hey, I’ll even throw in some tips on how to tweak your onboarding programme to bridge the gap and create your very own ideal candidates. Trust me, it’s easier than catching a unicorn.

The unrealistic hunt for the perfect candidate

As I said, the perfect candidate has become a mythical creature – someone who has all the experience and skills to match the job description, with an outstanding personality. Think about it – how can someone fully embody your brand values without taking the time to understand them first? And can a series of interviews really guarantee a perfect fit with your company culture? And what about the talent pool? The low unemployment rate the country is currently enjoying has made your choice of candidates very small.

So, here’s a thought: instead of searching for perfection, and wasting lots of time and money in the process, why not broaden your horizons? Consider candidates who aren’t quite perfect but with your help will be in no time at all.

To do this, you need to look to hire people with 70-80% of the necessary skills and experience – by this I mean the crucial qualities they must have before they start working for you, such as solid knowledge of your industry, vast experience in the role, great teamworking and leadership skills etc,  and figure out how they can learn the rest once they’re on board. Because let’s be real, some things are actually best learned on the job anyway. And don’t overlook the importance of soft skills like teamwork, communication, and collaboration – they’re just as vital as all that technical know-how.

So let’s let go of the fantasy of the perfect candidate and focus on finding competent individuals who can bring their unique strengths and potential to our team. The perfect match may be a myth, but a fantastic addition to your team is within reach.

Filling the gaps through onboarding programmes

Most companies provide standard new hire training programmes, but have you considered offering training beyond what is required so that you can fill the skill gaps of your new hire? Say they’re used to working with a certain software, but you use a different one. Incorporating a whistle stop tour of your software should be a crucial part of the onboarding process.

And let’s say, you wanted to find someone fully qualified in a certain area but the candidate has only completed 50% of the modules? You could support them in completing a few more or you could give other members of your team the opportunity to gain a qualification instead.

Any new hire will require a formal introduction to the company culture, internal processes, and procedures. However, your onboarding programme can be extended to include additional training on soft skills, personal habits, and technical skills.  This type of onboarding allows employees to learn new skills, enhancing their potential to fit you’re company’s culture.

On the subject of culture….

Early exposure to company culture and values

Most candidates have their eyes on the prize – the position they are being interviewed for. However, recruiters should start emphasising an applicant’s fit with the organisation’s culture and values. If a candidate does not share your company’s ethos, their performance will suffer significantly, ultimately leading to a poor recruitment decision. A recruitment strategy that emphasises cultural compatibility produces long-term employees who contribute to the growth and success of the business.

Continuous Training

Forget the one-and-done approach to employee training. In today’s ever-evolving world, continuous training is the name of the game. It’s not just about filling in knowledge gaps, it’s about giving your employees the tools they need to thrive and helping your company stay ahead of the competition.

Why is continuous training so important? Well, picture this: you spend time and money training a new hire to be perfect, only to have them quit after a couple of months because they’re miserable in their role. Talk about a waste!

But with continuous training, you’re investing in your employees for the long haul. It’s an investment that pays off in spades. Not only does it keep your workforce up-to-date on the latest technology and industry trends, but it also boosts productivity, job satisfaction, and employee engagement. Plus, continuous training shows your employees that you value them and want to help them grow both personally and professionally. It gives them the confidence to tackle new challenges and take on more responsibility, leading to career advancement. It’s a win-win situation.

So, how do you keep your employees on their toes and motivated? Short, regular training sessions are the way to go. They keep the creativity flowing and allow for growth within your company.

Hunting for the perfect candidate is like trying to solve an impossible puzzle. But don’t worry, there’s a secret to finding success. Instead of striving for 100% perfection, aim for 70-80% of the essential traits and skills you’re looking for. And if there are any gaps, just tweak your onboarding program to include extra training that focuses on those missing skills and cultural fit. By making cultural compatibility a priority, you’ll attract and keep amazing employees.

Original Article: onrec

Create a workplace that attracts and retains not only amazing employees but also diverse and talented individuals. For all your recruitment challenges – contact our HR & digital recruitment specialist Gareth Allison on 02920 620702

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