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HR Management: Sizing Up a Job Candidate

Finding the right fit for each job opening can help companies save time and money.

People are the lifeblood of any good business. With the right staff, enterprises can flourish. An unqualified employee base can sink a business in no time. That’s why there is so much pressure on human resources and its management to hire the best candidates available.

It would be impossible to hire the right person every time, but there are ways to ensure you make the right choice most of the time. Here are six ways human resource managers can size up a job candidate.

HR Management: Sizing Up a Job Candidate

  1. Clearly define the job role.

    When it’s time to advertise a job opening at your business, it’s important to release a job description that is detailed in terms of what skills are required as well as the desired experience level and what the candidate will be expected to do if hired. The more specific the job description is, the higher the quality of applicants you’re more likely to attract for that role. With a deeper pool of qualified, skilled applicants, you have a greater probability of hiring the right person for the job.

    Be sure to use everyday language in your job description to explain what will be expected of the candidate. Be honest about what the job entails so you’re sure not to mislead a candidate. You would not want a recent hire to resign as a result of misunderstanding the role. This would put you quickly back into the hiring process.

  2. Define who your ideal candidate is.

    If a company is unsure of what they are looking for in an employee, how can the hiring manager know who the right person is for the job? As you are looking for candidates, think about what matters most to the company. When it comes to employees, do you want someone who can get started in the job right away or someone who can be trained easily? How would you like to see your ideal candidate motivated? By potential earnings? Career success? Being part of a team? Once a company knows what it wants from a future employee, the easier it’ll be to find the right person.

  3. Get your current employees involved.

    Talk to staff members to see what they like most about working for the company. You can take what has attracted them to the company and use it to attract new hires. Of course, people are attracted to their workplace for different reasons, but there are sure to be some common themes. The recurring responses are the ones to use when selling a candidate on why your company is a great place to work. The sentiment will go further with prospects when they know the highlights are coming from employees rather than management or executives.

    Encouraging employees to refer people for job openings is another way to engage with staff and increase the likelihood of bringing in qualified candidates. Typically, employee referrals take less time to hire and bring higher quality job applicants.1 If employees are hesitant to refer people to the company, provide an incentive such as a cash bonus—if the budget allows—if their referral is hired and is employed for a certain amount of time.

  4. Make your career or recruiting web page appealing.

    By making your company’s career page more than a list of job openings, you can show what working for your company is like and why a potential candidate should apply for an open position. Employee testimonials, team member profiles, current projects the company is working on, and entertaining videos are great things to add to the company career page. If prospects apply for positions based on what they see on your page, it’s a sign they like your company’s culture and they’d likely be a good fit.

  5. Look for “hard” and “soft” skills during the screening process.

    The screening process is designed to determine if a job applicant is a good fit for the position. Be sure your screening process is organized so you get the most out of it. During this time, find out if the applicant has the “hard” skills needed to do the job, whether that’s through asking them to complete a skills assessment or to show samples of their previous work. Once you have determined a candidate has the required skills, they can move forward in the hiring process.

    You should also take time to learn about applicants’ “soft” skills—ones that won’t indicate how well they’ll perform the job, but are still important in the workplace—such as interacting with others, working well with others whether in the office or remotely, thinking critically, etc.
  6. Take your time.

    It’s understandable to want to fill a job opening as quickly as possible. However, that does not mean the hiring process should be rushed. Skipping steps and hiring someone quickly just to fill a position could backfire. If they are not the right fit and have to be terminated or they leave on their own, you’re looking at going through the process all over again, which will cost the company time and money.

    No matter how badly a position needs to be filled, go through each step properly. Write a clear, well-defined job description, pick a handful of qualified candidates, prescreen them, and at that time, ask them as many questions as you can about their past work and accomplishments. Ask culture-oriented questions to see how they’d fit into your company’s culture. It might seem like it’s taking a lot of time now, but it will be worth it to bring in the right person who will thrive in the organization for years.

Learn more about the hiring process

If you’re interested in helping a company size up ideal job candidates, you should consider a human resource career. As you gain industry experience, if you decide you want to pursue a leadership role, you can look into earning an MS in Human Resource Management. Throughout the course of your degree program, you’ll pick up the skills employers today seek, such as analysis, management, organization, and strategic planning. An MS in Human Resource Management can also help put you in consideration for high-profile human resource jobs such as compensation or benefits manager or labor relations specialist.

If you’re currently working in human resources or another field full time, you can still earn an MS in Human Resource Management by taking advantage of the flexibility of online learning.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Human Resource Management. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1“How Do Recruiters Find the Right Job Candidates?” TalentLyft, on the internet at

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,