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Employee Referrals Candidate Search recruiting

3 Candidate Selection Strategies to Strengthen Your Hiring Process

December 16, 2019

By: IQTalent

Candidate selection is often one of the most challenging parts of the recruiting process. Recruiters are forced to make critical decisions based on information they’ve gleaned from brief interactions with candidates. And there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. The cost of a bad hire can reach up to 30% of the employee's first-year earnings, not to mention the time wasted attracting, interviewing, and onboarding an employee who wasn’t a good fit.


So how can recruiters protect themselves and their organizations against hiring a poor fit? Arm yourself with the right tools. Check out these three proven candidate selection tools.

Arm yourself with the right tools to make great #CandidateSelection choices. Check out these three proven #CandidateSelectionTools from @IQTalent:Click to Tweet

Utilize structured interviews

If your company is like most, you interview candidates at least once. The quality of these interviews determines which candidates will be extended offers. But consider this, inconsistent interviewing on the part of the interviewer will make it difficult to compare candidates and will often result in a poor interview experience. Basically, you need to use structured interviews for every position, for every candidate, so everyone is being measured with the same yardstick. When compared to unstructured interviews, structured interviews are almost twice as useful at predicting career success.


A structured interview follows an identical list of questions for every candidate. These questions are only relevant to the requirements of the job. Criteria to score every answer is also provided. This candidate selection tactic provides clarity during the candidate selection process and can reduce unconscious and conscious bias.

See the candidates’ previous work

Another excellent candidate selection tactic is to view the candidates’ previous work. Many candidates include sample work when they submit their resumes. Some candidates include a link to their digital portfolio. Request this either during the initial application or after your first engagement with the candidate. These samples show what the candidate is capable of and also allows them to demonstrate their creativity.


Warning: Some employers ask candidates to create new work as a part of the interviewing process. Before you ask a candidate to do this, consider how it will affect the candidate’s experience. Many applicants see this tactic as asking for “free work” without the promise of an offer. Before asking a candidate to create new work as a part of the interview process, ask yourself, “Is this absolutely necessary?” and “Are there other ways I could screen for these skills?” This work should be used for your selection process only — you should never use a candidate’s work without paying them.


Bonus Tips:

  • Never hire a candidate after a single phone call. In-person interviews are best.
  • Ask them about their passions.
  • Pay attention to the questions they ask. All candidates should have some questions prepared.
  • Ask for clarification and details if the candidate’s answer is vague.
The importance of selecting the right #candidate can’t be understated. Check out these 3 can’t miss #CandidateSelectionTools ASAP!Click to Tweet

Have candidates take behavioral tests

Using structured interviews and asking for sample work can be a great start when selecting a candidate. However, these selection tools can still leave recruiters without a complete picture of the candidate. The truth is when we ask candidates to self describe themselves, sometimes we don’t get the entire truth — consciously or unconsciously.


For example, maybe a candidate is very interested in a job. They may say they prefer to work in noisy settings because they know the potential employer’s office is open and can get loud. In reality, the candidate may actually work best in quiet settings, but they are so interested in the job they tell a “little white lie” to look like a better fit. These untruths or exaggerations are common during the interviewing process and can have a serious impact. 


Enter behavioral tests. These assessments take natural unconscious bias into account to provide an accurate picture of a candidate. They can provide data on how a candidate works best, their motivators, tendencies, strengths, and shortcomings.


Here are a few of our favorites.

The importance of selecting the right candidate can’t be understated, and small teams experiencing periods of growth can’t afford to lose their time or budget with a bad hire. The pros at IQTalent Partners understand small teams’ specific concerns during times of growth. Our unique pricing structure makes our top-notch recruiting services affordable for companies of all sizes. Check out how we found a dozen new hires to support explosive growth at DroneSeed!