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How to create the perfect interview process

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Create an interview process that will let you get ahead in the market.

No matter what area of the market you operate in, finding the right candidate for the role that you want to fill can be a daunting task. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low in the UK, and with British workers also enjoying the strongest level of wage growth in three years, it’s a good time to be a person looking for work. 

However, it’s more challenging to be a business looking to hire.90% of recruiters say that the market is candidate-driven, which makes competition for sourcing the best talent extremely high. In such a competitive market, keeping the candidate engaged and enthusiastic about the role they’re applying for has never been more important, so if you’re not hiring the people you want, it might be time to modernise your recruitment strategy. 

Here’s what you need to know about creating the perfect interview process.

Create guidelines- and stick to them

Before you do anything else, you need to create a set of guidelines that will dictate how your company recruits. Sit down with management and decide: how many interviews will you set, and will there be any rounds of tests? What will the timescales be? How long will it take you to whittle down candidates- and how soon after the interview will you send feedback? Who will be responsible for doing so? Do you need to schedule in any meetings with senior management to discuss and approve potential candidates?

Once you have a set of guidelines in place, you’ll be better able to prepare your team and your candidates for the recruitment process. Keeping candidates engaged can be a tricky business if they’re not being kept informed, so this will let them- and your employees- know what they can expect from you, by when. You’ll manage their expectations from the start, and it will make for a better candidate experience. 

Be fast

The best candidates are off the market in ten days. How long is your recruitment process?  

Though it can of course be a challenge for members of senior management to find time for interviews, that’s no excuse for letting the interview process drag on for weeks. Set time aside in advance and block out sections of their diaries once you know that you need to make a hire, in order to remove any obstacles to the interview process when the time comes. Let your interviewers know exactly how much time to set aside, and what to prepare for. The end result will be a smoother- and faster- recruitment process.

Be consistent

If your candidates aren’t being kept in the loop, then there’s every chance that they’re not engaged with the recruitment process.65% of job seekerssay that they never, or rarely, receive notice of their application status, which will not only create a bad impression of your company, but impact their candidate experience and make them that much less likely to accept the job, even if they’re offered it. Make the effort to stay in touch with your candidates: set out what they can expect from the recruitment process at the start, and make sure to email them whenever they do- or don’t- make it through to the next stage. Give them feedback. It’ll keep you at the forefront of your candidates’ minds, and- even better- let them know that you’re a company that cares about their employees.

Testing your candidates

Does your recruitment process really test whether or not your candidates have the suitable skills for the job? 

Though interviews have their place, many companies are also turning to in-depth testing processes to ascertain whether or not their potential hires have the right personality and skillset to thrive in the role. One of these is Psychometric Testing, which is used by80% of Fortune 500 companies and works to determine a candidate’s verbal, numerical and logical ability. This is followed by a Behavioural Test which analyses an applicant’s personality, the better to determine whether they will fit with the company’s culture and values. 

Regardless of what you choose, do set aside time to test your candidates- either through a Psychometric process, or by setting them tasks that will test their capabilities for the role, such as analysing a data spreadsheet and drawing conclusions from it. Not only will it provide you with valuable candidate insights, it will hopefully result in a candidate who is a better match for the role.

The perfect candidate?

A vital part of building a successful recruitment process is managing your candidates’ expectations- but it’s equally important that you manage your own. Don’t feel that you have to ‘shop around’ for candidates when you have one that you feel is well-suited to the business; equally, don’t hold out for the perfect candidate when you have three or four who show promise, but might not tick all of the boxes. It’s better to find one that meets 80% of the brief than leaving a position unfilled for a year because you can’t find somebody who lines up perfectly. 

After all, the longer you wait, the more money you lose and the more of a strain it will be on your existing team. Instead, look for potential: can they meet key deliverables, and will they grow into the role? Can you work with them? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to bring them on board.

A failsafe solution

If you’re looking to fill a high-level position, then it might be time to turn to a specialist recruitment agency. At IDEX Consulting, we offer work on a Retained basis, where a team of expert Consultants map out the local active & passive market thoroughly in order to find a great match for your role. Though you might have to put your timescales back several weeks, you can tap into the expertise of Consultants who have spent years operating within your sector, and the end result will be a great hire: in fact, over 94% of the people that we place are still at the same company 5 years later.

Interested? Find out more about our Retained Solutions method here, or speak to anyone of our team members for advice and information and start your journey with IDEX Consulting today.