Recruiting Swag Versus Substance: How to Gauge Talent Before You Hire

You’re recruiting for your company’s IT team. You find a candidate whose resume makes him look like the love child of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. He’s worked for some of the best techie startups, and he claims to be fluent in more programming languages than you even knew existed. On paper, he’s the answer to your talent hiring dreams, but how can you be sure he’ll deliver once he’s hired? You’ll need to dive below the surface to gauge his true potential before you bring him on board. Here are a few tactics that can help:

Peek at Past Work

There’s one step you should always take when making hiring decisions, and it’s the same step you should take before you get a tattoo – ask to see a portfolio. Completed projects will tell you a great deal about what you can expect in the future, and critiquing an applicant’s past work can save you from getting stuck with the business equivalent of a lopsided butterfly tattoo with squiggly wings. So ask graphic designers to present a PowerPoint of the sites they’ve built. Have coders conduct a walk-through of a program they created. Don’t simply read about what candidates have accomplished – ask for proof.

Expand Your Interview Team

It’s hard to know the ins and outs of every single position your company hires for, and while qualities like leadership and dedication are important in all fields, some jobs require specific knowledge and skills. That’s why, in addition to vetting applicants with Smarterer Skillsets, many online hiring experts get input from their employees. If you’re hiring a new content writer, for example, your head editor should be a big part of the hiring process. Department leaders know what it takes to succeed in a given position (as well as what to look for in a candidate), and they can really help to assess the true talent of applicants. Combine that know-how with The Resumator’s collaboration tools and you’ll get a much fuller picture of how applicants will perform on the job. With time and effort, you'll raise your talent hiring results to a whole new level.

Remember, no recruiting team is psychic. No matter how many safeguards and filters are put in place, a great candidate will slip through the cracks every now and then. But for every new hire whose work fails to measure up to his or her potential, you'll find a handful of online hiring success stories – stories of candidates who went above and beyond the call of duty to surpass expectations. How do you find candidates like those? By looking for them, very carefully. By examining a portfolio. By testing the candidates now. When you're seeking to fill a position, be sure to use talent-gauging tactics, both for recruitment and in the hiring phase. It's the best way to know what you're getting.