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The Top 3 Things Recruiters Should Look Out For While Hiring

What really happens during an interview? Often, many recruiters only buckle down on what the candidate can do under pressure – can they answer all the questions in the required time? Sometimes, recruiters also look for loopholes such as stumbling speech and inconsistencies in what the candidate says. But the truth is, not every candidate is eloquent. Selecting candidates based on how well they manage to sell their achievements during the interview may not guide you to the right hire. Your “best” candidate for the job may not necessarily be the best team member for the company.


What most recruiters miss out on is what goes on beyond the interview. A candidate is so much more than just 30 minutes of a conversation during the interview. It is up to the discernment of the HR manager to sieve out as much as they can about the candidate before offering them the position. To sieve, you must first know what you are looking for.


Here are the top 3 things that recruiters should look out for while hiring:


1. Organisational Fit


Ever hired someone who was a star performer out work, but seemed like he was feeling out of place in the team? It is common to find yourself with a freshly hired employee displaying signs of feeling unmotivated after a few months into the job: they get in late, they leave early, they seem to be going on one too many coffee breaks, etc. Hmm… it appears you have hired someone who is an unsuitable fit.


Such employees don’t share the same core values as the company and are typically unable to connect with their co-workers. Finding the best person for the job is more than just identifying someone who is best fit for the responsibilities of the role. It also involves recruiting people who truly fit in the organisation. A perfect fit is unnecessary (and likely difficult to find) and what hiring managers should look out for are those of a close-enough fit that are malleable enough to adapt to the company’s work culture.


Organisational fit is one of the top 3 points to look out for during recruitment because it has shown to be positively correlated to an employee’s productivity, performance and personal wellness. When an individual possesses higher satisfaction for their job, they will be more committed and are more likely to remain with the organisation.


Generally, taking organisational fit into account during recruitment would help the company to:

  • Reduce turnover

  • Increase quality of hire

  • Increase employee engagement

  • Increase productivity


How do you measure compatibility?

However, compatibility is something that is difficult to assess through a one-time interview. Someone who makes themselves out to be a voracious worker during the interview may actually turn out to be a quiet labourer, while a gentle candidate may unexpectedly turn out to be someone who possesses exceptional leadership skills. An interviewee is only exposed to a small panel of interviewers during the interview, making it a challenge to judge how they would communicate with different types of people and stakeholders.


Rather than just sticking to skill-based questions during the interview, it is important that you ask questions directly relating to the values of the company. This would help you determine the candidate’s personality and their fit with your organisation.


Examples of such questions include:

  • Getting them to describe what their typical weekend consists of

  • Probing them to share with you what their most positive/negative personality trait is, and why

  • Asking them what type of team and environment they would thrive in

  • Getting them to share which company value they resonated with the most

  • Getting them to describe what they think the company culture is like, based on what they have seen or heard so far


2. Passion and Desire to Succeed


Few organisations know how to identify “passionate talent” – they choose their candidates based on work history and skills instead. There are hiring managers out there that hire based on the prestige of the candidate’s past work experience (i.e. if they have worked at Google or Facebook), only to discover that these freshly hired employees lacked the motivation and drive to actually succeed in their new roles.


Why is it important to look out for passion? They greatly value not just their growth in the company, but also their own personal development. When an employee is passionate about what they do, you can be rest assured that they will consistently look for better ways to improve themselves, their role and the business. The team’s spirit can take a detrimental hit if people without passion for the objectives of the organisation are hired. You’ll see how they don’t mesh with their co-workers and how the way in which they work fail to reflect the drive that the rest of the team displays. Ultimately, their ‘energy’ will rub off onto the rest of the team and may bring about disharmony.


Hiring people who are passionate for the business means that you can expect:

  • Loyalty. These are the people who won’t give up when faced with challenges. They are invested and excited for what’s to come for the organisation as much as you are. These are the people who will contribute to a positive workplace and an amazing company culture that will turn your business into a community.

  • Greater effort. Employees who truly believe in what they’re doing are proud of their work and want to see the company succeed. They don’t see their job as a 9-5 position. These are the people who are going to stay late when they need to, come in early when they need to and work hard everyday because they want to.

  • Consistent growth. A passionate employee searches for better solutions, takes calculated risks and out-performs themselves year after year. These are the people who possess a personal fortitude and a thirst for continual learning and improvement, which will directly affect your company’s growth too.


How do you measure passion and desire?

Here are certain points that recruiting managers could consider doing or watching out for during interviews to gauge the level of passion and desire in candidates:

  • Asking them about their hobbies or interests. This will give you a sense of what they care about most.

  • Testing to see if they’ve done prior research on the company before the interview. A candidate who is serious about the role would find out more about the company. As recruiting managers, it would therefore be helpful to probe on questions relating to the company’s values and objectives. This would also open responses for the possible ways he/she could contribute beyond their job scope, to determine their level of initiative and interest in the growth of the organisation.

  • Noticing their body language and tone of voice when they talk about their role. You can tell when someone is talking about something that they genuinely like doing. They sit up straighter, their voice shows hints of excitement and their eyes light up with zeal.


3. Communication and Collaboration


A survey conducted with nearly 1,000 employers show that communication skills top the list of skills and abilities that employers look out for when hiring. Often, companies aren’t just trying to fill a position, they want to build their leadership pipelines as well. Therefore, they seek to hire people who possess not just the technical skills that the job requires, but also the interpersonal and communication skills to develop into strong, effective team players who are capable of inspiring others and keeping the rest of the team members engaged.

Studies have also shown that there is a correlation between possessing good interpersonal skills and being a strong team player. In today’s business environment, having to work with other people is inevitable. In order to receive the best results, employees must help each other out and work together – tasks can then be completed efficiently with a far better outcome. And in order for good teamwork to occur, your staff members have to first be able to communicate well with one another.


Ensuring that your potential employees are good communicators and collaborators would help your company in the long run, in areas such as:

  • Team cohesion. By being able to communicate well and establish bond with the other members of the team, your employees will find a sense of belonging within the company. This bond will lead to better teamwork and ultimately, be one of the factors that increase their loyalty to your organisation.

  • Greater productivity. As your employees communicate and work together with one another, they will begin to understand one another’s strengths and collaborate by building on each other’s skill sets over time. Not only that, stronger interpersonal skills also mean being able to effectively communicate and share ideas.

How do you measure communication and collaboration?

  • Watch out for the candidate’s body language. Does the candidate maintain appropriate eye contact and display interest in what you have to say? Someone with good communication skills is less likely to fidget, become distracted or present disrespectful behaviour such as eye-rolling or yawning when someone else is speaking.

  • Asking diagnostic or comparative questions. By getting candidates to compare options and provide judgement, you would be able to determine their ability to communicate through the clarity of their responses.

  • Noting their response styles. Good communicators will typically respond in an assertive manner – they convey their thoughts and opinions clearly, honestly and respectfully. Assertive communicators are aware that the thoughts of others are as valuable as their own.


While those points are taken into consideration, it is also worth noting that even excellent communicators have bad days or nervous moments. There may be times where you have a positive impression of a candidate and obtained stellar feedback from references but saw that the interview didn’t go as well as you had hoped. At this point, you may want to consider the interview as a whole and make a phone call or request for an informal follow-up meeting to clear up any misgivings that you may have of the person.


Your employees will be the main drivers behind your business’ future growth and success


Often, when you ask those who’ve been with their company for many years what they like about their job – most would respond that their co-workers play a big part in their working experience. But to foster such an environment, it is important that you hire people who are compatible with the organisation, who are passionate about what they do and who are able to communicate and collaborate well with others. Be sure to look out for these traits when interviewing your candidates!


Reference checks as another way of looking out for these traits

On top of including those questions during the interview, another method for gauging these traits in a candidate would be to conduct reference checks. Reaching out to a candidate’s past employer and obtaining their feedback about the candidate’s personality and performance would help you to look beyond the things that they have said during the interview, as well as confirm that the points shared about themselves are not exaggerated.


robin is a company that specialises in human resource technology. We automate your reference check process, so you can streamline the once-tedious task to just a few simple clicks. Click here to schedule a demo and find out more about how we can help you.