Having a structured hiring process that clearly defines what you are looking for in a role and candidate is an essential part of the recruitment process.
In that process you should consider how you will determine whether a candidate meets the key job criteria, is a good cultural fit for the business and what broader skills they hold. These include modern skills such as technical and digital competencies, and soft skills such as communication, collaboration, emotional intelligence, leadership, resilience and the ability to adapt.
Given the candidate is also interviewing you and your company, you should also consider how you will address common employee desires that have risen in recent years.
Skills based assessments and questions:
It is clearly important that a candidate is competent in any technical aspect of the role they are being hired for. The best way to determine this is a skills-based assessment or test that replicates technical tasks or challenges they would face if they were working in the role.
Also prepare and ask a series of technical questions specific to their role which will highlight any stand-out areas or skills gaps.
Ask for specific examples where they have used these skills in a previous role and ensure they can highlight measurable, examples. This will help distinguish from those who interview well but do not have real-world experience to back it up.
Beyond the specific competencies of the role you are hiring them for, also consider other important attributes such as digital competencies or soft skills, and how you will assess candidates for these.
Use the same specific and measurable interview strategies and consider conducting experiential assessments and psychometric testing to assess soft skills and cultural fit more deeply.
Experiential Assessments and Questions
Experiential assessments in the hiring process are becoming increasingly popular because soft skills have become increasingly important to the ability of people to perform their role.
As opposed to skills-based assessments which analyse for competency around specific technical skills and knowledge, experiential assessments are designed to assess for soft skills such as communication, collaboration, emotional intelligence, leadership, and cultural fit.
This means bringing multiple candidates together under the guidance of a professional facilitator to conduct structured teamwork tasks, games and problem-solving exercises to assess candidates’ soft skills in specific areas.
Psychometric tests are tools used to assess a candidate’s personality, values, motivations, and abilities, to predict behaviours and job performance.
They include aptitude tests, behaviour tests, personality testing and emotional intelligence testing, and can be good at determining certain abilities. However, they are less reliable than experiential testing in assessing soft skills and are best used as a complementary recruitment tool or to empower existing teams to work more efficiently.
General interview questions you should ask:
While specific questions are best set for the specific role you are recruiting for, there are some proven and popular interview questions.
Australian recruitment site, Seek, researched the top 10 interview questions based on data from their website and by speaking with recruitment experts. The top 10 questions are listed below and each question is analysed more deeply here:
- Which of your skills do you believe will be most valuable to our organisation?
- What’s your understanding of the role and why are you interested?
- Why are you interested in working at this organisation?
- How do you prioritise your tasks?
- What parts of your current role do you really love?
- What parts of your current role frustrate you?
- Give me an example of a time when you made a mistake or didn’t deliver on expectations, what happened?
- What is the one professional and/or technical skill you would most like to develop?
- Talk us through your professional and technical skillset.
- You disagree with the way your manager and supervisor say to handle a problem. What would you do?
Asking if candidates are vaccinated against COVID-19
Employers have a duty of care to their workers and customer to keep them safe, and in August 2021, employers were given government clearance to ask their staff if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Since then, the number of job advertisements requiring prospective employees to be vaccinated against COVID has been growing, with some businesses even making it a requirement of employment.
Questions you should NOT Ask:
During the recruitment process, you must not ask personal questions of a candidate if they are not relevant to the role you are hiring them for.
Australian law states that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, disability, marital status or pregnancy status, religion, race, sex, political opinion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
In most cases these will not impact on someone’s ability to do your job, however there may be some exceptions for certain roles in rare circumstances.
Tread carefully though and seek professional advice, because a candidate can take legal action if they have been discriminated against during the interview process.