Candidate selection in recruiting: 4 tips to check the suitability of candidates

Finding and selecting good employees for your company is a challenge for most decision makers. The selection of candidates is made even more difficult by the fact that many CVs are often exaggerated and job references are almost unusable. If the interview is superficial, you will not have a good basis for your decision.

Selection of candidates: It all depends on the approach

It is therefore important to adopt the right approach when selecting candidates, as this can help avoid costly “miscasting”.

In order to put the candidate through his or her paces, entrepreneurs, managers or recruiters have various options when selecting applicants. Many large companies rely on assessment centres, for example. However, the time, personnel and financial resources are not always available to carry out such an assessment.

With the following tips, you can still check whether the applicants are suitable for the job and your company.

Let the applicants solve a practical task

An initial indication of how well qualified applicants are in their field is provided by their educational background and work experience. But in a job, the most important thing is whether this knowledge can also be applied practically, and a diploma is usually no guarantee of this.

When selecting candidates, you can therefore give them a concrete task to solve for the job interview. For example, if your applicant is applying for the position of a salesperson, have him or her prepare a concrete sales presentation for one of your products. If the applicant is to plan advertising campaigns later on, give him the task of creating a rough advertising concept for your product.

If the candidate is able to prepare the task at home, he/she can of course take help from others. However, by asking specific questions during the interview, you can find out later whether he or she is really familiar with the task in detail.

Alternatively, you also have the possibility to let the applicant solve a task during the interview. One disadvantage of this approach is that there is comparatively little time for preparation. Another disadvantage is that some applicants are more likely to block in a stressful situation and therefore produce below-average results.

However, solving a task in a job interview should never become an exploitation of ideas for your company. It is important that you remain fair to the applicant.

Have a challenging discussion on a specialist topic

With a good professional discussion, you can usually quickly find out what makes your applicant tick and how firm he or she is in his or her field. You can also see how skilful he or she is in arguing and discussing.

Put topics from your industry up for discussion and challenge your counterpart. In this way you will also see whether your counterpart is a yes-man or is willing to discuss a topic constructively. If the candidate is too superficial, you can dive deeper into the subject matter to get a better feel for the subject matter.

Check with previous employers to see how the candidate is doing

In most cases, a job reference gives a distorted picture of the applicant – negative points may not be given anyway. If you want to be sure that an applicant can really do what you expect, you should ask one of your previous employers about their performance. However, do not phone the current employer, as this can lead to very unpleasant and above all unfair situations for the candidate!

Check samples of work

Depending on the field of activity, work samples can also be a good way of checking the practical suitability of an applicant. If you are looking for someone to do press work for you, ask for past press releases. If you are looking for a good graphic designer, ask for past work in this field.

Work samples usually also have the advantage that you can not only evaluate the applicant’s craftsmanship, but also see the style of the applicant. In this way you can see whether an applicant is also suitable for you in terms of the way he or she works.

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