How to Choose the Best Candidate for Your Job Opening

August 8, 2018 Written by Oralie Chapman

Hiring the best candidate for your job opening can mean the difference between a productive, long-term employee and the need to hire again in a short timeframe. With the high cost of recruiting, short-term turnover should be something that every employer wants to avoid.


Sites like hirenethawaii.com offer tools to narrow your search to a pool of candidates but what are the best ways to narrow the field from there and eventually choose the right person? Traditional methods include the application and interview process but what other tools are available to employers to pick the right candidate? 


How to choose the best candidate for your job opening

After employers complete an initial screening process, desirable applicants are typically called for an interview, whether in person, via video chat or over the phone. There is no doubt that some people are great interviewers; comfortably and confidently answering every question the interviewer throws their way. But are interview skills the best way to determine future job performance?


Unless you are hiring for a customer service role, it may not matter how well the applicant can carry a conversation or volley questions and answers. The best way to choose the right candidate is to write a list of the hard and soft skills that are important to the success of the role. For example, if you are hiring a bookkeeper you may be looking for a candidate with bookkeeping experience (hard skill) and a deadline focused, detail-oriented work ethic (soft skills). Also consider the top tasks you will need this employee to complete in the first year.


Once you have determined the skills required to complete the tasks required of the role, it is time to identify the best way for the job candidates to show that they have those skills. Providing a clear list of hard and soft skills on a job description and then asking a potential employee to describe prior work experience and their work-style are the traditional tools used to find out if the candidate is the right person for the job but there are ways to get more out of the interview experience. Have each candidate interview with a few managers separately or a team of managers to see how they will fit in with the company culture. Ask a potential co-worker to give the interviewee a tour of the office or to show them a bit about what they do; then get feedback from the current employee. 


For jobs requiring technical skills or a particular expertise, there are additional tools that can be used to find the right candidate for the job: 

  • Give top candidates an assignment/project to complete to show hard skills. For example, writing a few paragraphs on a specific topic; designing a basic webpage or logo; analyzing online marketing data; making a sales pitch for one of your products; or writing a project plan for a hypothetical project. Decide whether to give a deadline or not; it can be revealing to see how long a candidate takes to finish quality work. Allow questions but analyze the number and type of questions to gain a sense for how independent, intuitive and skilled each candidate is.
  • To discover soft skills give candidates a problem to solve, preferably one that could actually come up in their job. This can be done in the application process by asking the candidate to submit their solution in a limited word response. At the interview, ask the candidate to discuss/explain the thinking behind their response.

Using a full range of recruitment tactics relevant to the skills needed to succeed in the role is the best way to find a long-term employee who will contribute to your business’ success. 


Partnering with Makai HR

Hired the perfect candidate? We’ll take it from here with our HR outsourcing services! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are in compliance with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services and technology solutions. 


With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet or phone. We can truly improve your employees work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.


What are you waiting for? Companies who partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!