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Get ’em at the Door!

18th February 2016


We have all heard the saying; it takes an average of 7 seconds to make a first impression. We use it all the time when we are sizing up candidates. But what about when candidates are sizing up your organization? Are you representing and impressing well in those 7 seconds?

In a competitive market, each company must strive to improve the level of talent in its pool of employees. Every new hire has the potential to either enhance the overall performance of the business or diminish it… so, as recruiters we must ensure we metaphorically guard our front door and only allow the most suitable candidates in.

Here’s what we know today:


  • Get them at the doorToday’s labor market is a socially mobile and technologically competitive place with large numbers of applicants for most jobs and many agencies vying for clients’ business.
  • That resume/CV sifting, short-listing and the interview are still widely used for pre-screening and candidate selection.
  • That slimmed-down organizations and an emphasis on ROI means that all employees, especially new hires, are required to perform to their full potential.

Many employers are under incredible amounts of pressure to find the “perfect fit.” Yet it is clear that some of our familiar methods used for judging candidates lack reliability and predictive validity, which means that some recruits who get through our front door never achieve optimum performance in their job role. We then spend an inordinate amount of management time and expenses on trying to motivate and train the marginal performers!

Many companies still rely solely on reference checks that are not validated and most of the time very biased. Without substantial research on candidates, do you really know who you are hiring?

So how do we shift the process? First, by figuring out exactly what you are recruiting for prior to interviewing, so you can save your organization a lot of time! Look for vague areas of your job description and make them laser focused on the few things are the most important.   Clean up contradicting verbiage such as ‘must be very detail oriented…must be able to juggle a lot of tasks at once’. That is a great example of two characteristics that contradict each other.

  • Figure out the job description, what kind of fit are you looking for?
  • In what ways will the candidate align with the company culture?
  • Can the candidate grow with the company?
  • Are you hiring for a quick to fill solution or a great long term fit?

Figuring out what you need before hand will save your recruiters and managers a lot of time. Spend the time with your team identifying specifically the most important things you need in the job, so you have a better chance of hiring the right fit. Don’t do things just because “that’s how it has always been done.” Find the right fit. Fit for Good.

About the Author:

Nikky van Bommel is the Marketing Director for Big 5 Assessments and has worked in the Psychometric Testing industry for over 10 years. Nikky is responsible for all marketing and social media for the organisation.

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