HR Insights

Business strategies are only successful if people can effectively execute them. The same discipline that is applied to business processes needs to be applied to how companies manage their people. HR Remedy takes a pragmatic and practical approach to helping companies manage their human capital. Our goal is to drive business results and create value through an organization's employees.

Filling the Gap: Finding the Right Person for the Right Job in Today’s Job Market

May 15th, 2012

Author: Rebekah Thornton, Business Development Associate, HR Remedy, LLC

With the increasing numbers of people looking for work and better resources to finding talent, why are companies still struggling to find their “ideal” candidates? This is an age-­‐old question posing a difficult task to those in the workforce as well as in Human Resources. In a November 2011 study by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), it was estimated that 52% of companies have difficulty recruiting for specific jobs within their business sector. The top 5 most difficult jobs from that poll included engineers, high-­‐skilled medical positions, high-­‐skilled technical positions, scientists, and managers/executives.

In today’s recruitment activities, many recruiters look at the job description and begin sourcing and screening candidates that are a good fit on paper, and wonder in amazement why the hiring manager rejected the “perfect” candidate after the phone screen. Often time, these “perfect” candidates are missing many key elements of the role. On paper, a job description may be one thing, but the hiring manager may have something different in mind for the ideal candidate. Critical thinking, professionalism and work ethic, written communication, and leadership are some of the most prominent qualities companies feel their applicants are missing. Through proactive sourcing and screening, the best candidates for the job are deemed to make it to the forefront of the hiring managers pool. The candidates hiring managers usually interview are the ones with the highest potential, experience, and fit for the job, and yet at times, even those skills are not enough to pass muster in an interview. So how can you determine if your “ideal” candidate has the right skills to succeed in an interview?

Hillary Vineyard, a project manager for HR Remedy, commented, “When I screen candidates for a position, I keep a running list of critical questions to ask them. Types of questions that spark a conversation that extends far beyond what can be described on a resume. This allows me to pull information from the candidates to help determine their fit and place within the company. We have found that situational questions that focus on a candidates critical thinking, decision making skills, leadership ability, etc., give the best representation of who the candidate is as a person and potential employee versus a name on a piece of paper.” Possible questions to pose to a candidate:

  • Provide me with a time that you were able to use your experience to handle a difficult situation.
  • Describe a time when you had to use critical thinking skills.
  • Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  • Communication skills are imperative for this position, how would your describe your communication style?

The information derived from these questions will showcase the soft skill set the applicant has to offer. Hard skill sets, the attributes you see on paper, and soft skill sets, the things you don’t see, are what separate the good candidates from the best candidate. By asking situational or behavioral questions during an interview, you allow the candidate to demonstrate their potential future performance, based on how they reacted to past and present situations.

With over 52% of companies struggling to find the right talent for their organization, how can your company avoid being part of the 52%? Take a step back and assess your current tactics to finding talent, and better yet, assess how you are finding the right talent.

HR Remedy is a human capital consulting firm that focus’ on Talent Management, Leadership Development and Recruitment Process Outsourcing. We have helped many organizations find top talent and become strong performers within their organization.

In the next HR Remedy Newsletter, we will feature an article on retaining employees. Now that you know how to find your “ideal” candidate, we will show you what it takes to keep them.