On paper, the recruitment process seems straightforward. Your company creates a job description or advert, candidates apply for the role, and eventually, you select the best candidate for the position. However, how do you know who the best candidate is?

The recruitment process involves several stages, and this guide aims to take you through the process from start to end, helping you determine the best candidate.

Know what your idea of the best candidate is

At the start of the process, there should be agreement on what constitutes the best candidate. Some firms may prefer to come into the process with the blank slate, in the hope an ideal candidate stands out, but this represents too much of a gamble.

Therefore, you need to develop a list of what you need the candidate to display, and what they should bring to the role. When you have this in place, you can create a job description, and set guidelines on what to look for.

Involve all relevant departments

It is helpful to work with various departments to ensure there is a consensus on what constitutes the best candidate for the role. While HR is likely to lead the recruitment process, departments which are affected by the appointment should be allowed to voice an opinion on who the ideal candidate is, and what they should offer.

Have a process that allows for a fair evaluation

A critical component of finding the best candidate is being able to evaluate the candidates. There should be consistency in the review of all applications, ensuring each candidate is evaluated measurably and reasonably.

Questions that allow for applications to be evaluated and compared are of value in trying to narrow down your options without risking overlooking a suitable candidate.

Create a shortlist of suitable candidates

Once you have reviewed applications, it is essential to draw up a shortlist of suitable candidates, and then invite these candidates to the next stage of the process. If there is an agreed method of evaluation, the HR department can lead this process, but again, this may be an area where it is best for relevant parties to have an opinion.

Prepare all candidates for the interview process

It is vital to ensure all candidates have the same opportunities leading to the interview stage. Provide all the information a candidate requires to prepare for an interview, which will help you find the most suitable candidate for your needs.

Record and analyse the interviews

Recording the interview process allows more significant analysis of each candidate. It can be difficult for the interviewer to progress the interview and evaluate the candidate. Some companies opt to have a panel who assess the applicants, but recording and evaluating the meetings at a later date can of benefit.

Check references of the best candidates

When you have a leading candidate or candidates, you should verify their references. Checking the references of the leading applicants, near the end of the process, saves time while still providing useful insight.

If you follow these steps, you should find it easier to appoint the best candidate for the role. If your organisation requires further assistance in the recruitment process, please contact The Recruiting Office.

Looking to recruit via an agency?

Read our report “The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Recruitment Partner”

For more on how to determine the best candidate, click here