How to Pick the Star Candidate

By: Iwalani De Los Santos

This summer, we encouraged candidates and job seekers to take actionable steps to sharpen their skills and gave advice on how to set themselves apart from the competition. But how can hiring managers best prepare themselves and their team to make the best selection for a new hire?

recruitmentRecruitment Strategy

First, define the job you are looking to fill. A well-crafted job description will serve as a great reference when you begin to sift through applicants. It will provide a clear outline for what you desire in a new hire as well as keep you focused on requirements and preferences. This is an advantageous occasion to critically analyze the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills and education that you seek in a new hire.  To go deeper than the basic job requirements, consider the individual attributes of a person who excelled in that role in the past. Contemplate and identify what kinds of individual strengths you need to add to your team.

Next, create a panel of team leaders, human resources personnel, or others whom you respect to have good, professional judgment. Assemble a team of people who represent your company’s values and are skilled at identifying those values in others. This team will provide support and balance throughout the hiring process. They may be integral to an interview panel or a post-interview meeting.

Tap into your Network

You may be more connected than you think! Utilize word-of-mouth to spread information about position availability to your industry contacts, employee referrals, social media outlets, and industry leaders. Even if someone within your company is not ready to shift into the open position, they may know of someone who is ready. Reach out to your college buddies or professional organization members who are in a similar industry and can help you source for potential candidates. Professional recruiters can offer a highly-specialized approach with their own industry contacts and pool of quality candidates.  Recruiters can be an invaluable resource in finding passive candidates who are not actively searching for a new role, but whose skills may be a perfect fit for your hiring need.

Interview Strategy

Ask behaviorally-based questions to get a sense of how the candidate would respond in different situations. Some of the best indicators of future behavior is shown through examples of how someone handled themselves in the past. Ask for specific examples of how they handled a confrontation in the workplace or how they solved a difficult challenge with a customer. Preparing questions ahead of time is just as important in this process as it is for a candidate to come to the interview with questions prepared to ask of you.

How do you determine if the interviewee is the right fit for the job? At this point in the process you should already have a good idea if a candidate is capable of executing the job duties and has the necessary skills to be effective. However, you still need to consider their presence and personality to see if they will be a good match for your existing team. A top-notch candidate will present themselves with confidence and will clearly convey their interest in the position. Assess whether they are comfortable discussing their strengths and have a keen knowledge of the expected performance. Now you need to tune into your sharp, discerning executive mind to accurately read the candidate for compatibility with your team.

There are many options and new approaches you can try as you make your hiring decisions. The best piece of advice we can give is to continue nurturing your professional relationships. As you continue hiring top-quality talent, you reinforce your team’s success and gain a reputation for acquiring the best.


How to Gain a Competitive Edge During Summer

By: Iwalani De Los Santos

In the coming weeks the World Cup will bring competition into the global spotlight and has us considering how individual coordination, energy, and teamwork can yield victory when it comes to a job search.  soccerCandidates come to us for résumé development, interview preparation, and ultimately how to score their desired career opportunity.  How can you be positioned ahead of the pack to score that goal?

Pre-Season Conditioning: Enhance Your Skills

Players expecting to make the cut for their nation’s World Cup team can’t take a break in their off-season.  Top competitors continue to hone their skills, advance their moves, and stay in peak physical condition.  Why shouldn’t you do the same?  How are you enhancing your skills?  How are you staying in peak condition?  Have you ever considered that you are in a very unique situation when searching for that next opportunity?  You may ask “how is that unique?” quite simply; YOU are the product that is being marketed.   As such, how are you enhancing yourself and your value?  Have you strengthened your resume, sharpened your interviewing skills, enrolled in continuing education or licensing courses?  Have you differentiated yourself by volunteering in the community?  These are simply a few suggestions that will help condition you to be the star-player when it’s time to compete.

Play Offense: You Have the Ball

Historically speaking, summer time is usually a slower period when it comes to interviewing and hiring.  Many companies bring on new hires in the spring or fall and most have already filled their openings with new college graduates before summer.  Don’t let this deter you from applying or sending your resume to a hiring authority.  In fact, you can get a jump on the competition while there are fewer contenders in the game.  Be proactive by submitting your resume, use social media to remain well connected, and work alongside an industry insider, when necessary.  After years of the ‘Great Recession’ hiring drought, employers are identifying and hiring great candidates, sometimes before posting roles on their career board.  If a hiring manager is looking for talent, make your moves count and be on offense.

Be a Midfielder: Expand Your Chances to Score a Goal

Soccer players always keep an eye out for any opportunity to score a goal.  They must capitalize on a variety of vantage points on the field for success.   Likewise, approach your job search with an open-mind, continuously update your perspective, and modernize your target job.  Have you considered widening your scope of possible relocation regions, exploring a lateral opportunity to broaden your skills and qualifications, or taking a calculated risk to go for that next position on the corporate ladder?  We believe it’s important to remember that you aren’t looking for a ‘job’; you are looking for the right career opportunity for your skill set and experience.  You never know, taking a shot from an unlikely angle could lead you to score a life changing opportunity for you and your family.

Teamwork: Strategize Your Strengths & Weaknesses

Every great team has their rising stars, veterans, support staff, and coaches.  Each part of the team must work together to develop their individual talents and provide support in areas that need improvement. How each team handles their unique combination of strengths and weaknesses will determine their success.  From our perspective as recruiters, it’s essentially  the same game plan: a candidate who seeks a new role should know their individual strengths, find out how to limit their weaknesses, network with “veterans” in your area of interest, and rely on “coaches” like Coleman Search Group (CSG) to help you navigate the field.

Set yourself apart from the pack and attract prospective companies by taking an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.  There are many resources and methods to assess your strengths and learn about your personal attributes.  Knowing how to advance a player’s strengths and how to reduce weakness creates a healthy balance for any winning team.  Once you assess your abilities, seek out professionals with a solid reputation in your business – they will provide sound advice to help you advance in your field.  Next, you may consider using a “coach” to help you prepare and provide strategies for your job search.  Coaching makes a difference and the right “coach” can help you succeed and give you a personalized training plan.  Last, but not least, lean on your family and friends as you consider new responsibilities, relocation options and your career dreams.  Carefully consider their feedback because they know you well and can be some of your biggest fans!