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Top 5 recruiting tips for agencies – Part 4

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Written By
Alaine Dole

When it comes to recruiting new employees, now is a more important time than ever to be cautious of not only who you’re hiring, but how you approach the hiring process as a whole. With tight budgets and an unstable economy, there is little room for hiring the wrong “fit” at your agency. So, what should an agency be doing in terms of recruitment? Always probing for specifics in an interview, as you’ll see in the fourth of this five-part series designed to help you recruit top talent.

Probe for specifics
“It’s still great to ask questions regarding a candidate’s background and resume, but don’t let them answer questions in general terms,” said Heather Gaengel, recruiting manager at Zywave. “Continue probing to get specific examples of where they used required skill sets and why,” she added. To do this, frame your questions in a way that elicits a response describing a past experience. Probe for the problem/challenge, how they addressed it and what the outcome was.

“Don’t place as much emphasis on whether or not the candidate had success with a past task, but more on what they gained from the experience,” said Heather. And of course, probe for examples of experiences relating to the job for which they are applying. Remember the ultimate goal of the interview: to determine if the candidate could do the job or not. “Have a process that helps you keep the interview on track to determine the candidates’ capability of doing the job well,” said Heather.

Comparing candidates
Using the same interview process for every candidate applying for the same position is incredibly important. “This will help you compare the candidates on the same playing field,” said Heather. If you haven’t done so already, start to develop customized questions for each position you are looking to fill. This will provide guidance for the interviewers on not only what they’re responsible for asking, but also what types of answers they’re looking for during the interview. This leaves you with a much more objective review process after the interviews are conducted.

Career expectations
“Listen to the candidates’ career expectations during the interview process,” said Heather. Address whether these expectations are cohesive with your agency. Can the candidate’s career growth be attained at your agency? Are their expectations within reason and complementary to your culture? Can you see them with a future at your agency? You not only want to find the perfect candidate, but you want them to feel like they’ve found the best fit as well.

This is part four in a five-part series on recruitment at agencies.

©Copyright 2009 Zywave, Inc.

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