What Experienced HR Managers Watch Out For When Recruiting Candidates


The Recruitment Process is an important aspect of the overall job responsibilities for HR (Human Resources) Managers.

Given the fact that selecting the best candidate for the job and the right fit for the role determines the future trajectory of that candidate’s time in the organization as well as leads to gains for the organization, HR Managers have to put their heart and mind into the recruitment process. Indeed, recruiting the optimal person for the job is paramount at all levels of the hierarchy and especially so as we move up the organizational ladder.

This is the reason why experienced and seasoned HR Managers often have some specific strategies which they actualize when interviewing candidates for potential employment.

Good Interview Candidates and Flops on the Job

For instance, some candidates are what are known as “Good Interview Candidates” wherein they come across as very presentable and competent as well as confident and sincere during the face to face interviews, but once selected, they often fail to meet and match the expectations for the job.

Indeed, this is the reason why many HR Managers often recommend multiple rounds of interviews and that too by different line and rank managers so that any weaknesses of the candidate are visible at least to some of them so that they can take appropriate decisions regarding such candidates.

Good Interview Candidates are those who have very good or even superlative communicational abilities as well as excellent interpersonal skills.

Moreover, they do not have what is known as Stage Fright or Stage Fear or in other words, they do not get nervous when talking in front of a crowd or a panel of attendees.

On the other hand, such candidates might be poor on the technical skills needed for a job or can be lacking in domain knowledge needed for the role.

In such cases, the challenge before the HR Managers is to ensure that such candidates are deployed in sales and marketing or other such client interfacing roles so that their strengths and capabilities can be put to good use.

Indeed, being a presentable face in interviews should not automatically disqualify someone and at the same time, should not also lead to selection which at a later stage and with the benefit of hindsight proves to be a bad choice.

Thus, the challenge for the HR Managers here is to have extended discussions with such profiles so that neither the candidate nor the organization feels shortchanged down the line.

Marquee Educational Qualifications and Real Hard Workers

Talking about profiles of candidates, it is also the case that during the resume screening phase, some candidates have stellar record of academic and professional achievements in addition to having Marquee names of Academic Institutions where they attended college.

Indeed, during the early days of the Tech boom, it was quite common for corporates and especially in India to recruit candidates based on the colleges and the institutes that they attended with the implicit understanding that they are capable and competent.

However, such candidates are not always the best candidates for the job and instead, there might be several others without the tag of eminent colleges and institutions who are equally good or if not, better.

Indeed, in our experience in the corporate world, we have found that such candidates are often eager to prove themselves and hence, give more than Hundred Percent to their jobs. Thus, this is another lesson that experienced HR Managers learn either through experience or from their mentors.

Fake Resumes and the Problem of Exaggerated Accomplishments

Apart from this, there are candidates whose resumes need careful scrutiny and vetting since some of the details of accomplishments in such resumes might not be entirely true.

Indeed, this is something that has been agitating many corporates over the last decade or so which has made them deploy Tech enabled screening such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered software to weed out the so-called “fake resumes”.

Moreover, with experience, many HR Managers now often rely on extensive and discreet background checks on candidates to ascertain the genuineness or otherwise of their candidatures.

The Difference between Eligibility and Employability

The point to be noted here is that while many candidates are eligible for employment, it is not necessarily the case that they are employable.

In other words, graduating with a degree and acquiring tech, domain, interpersonal, and communication skills might qualify someone on paper whereas in reality, such candidates are simply unemployable.

What this means is that such candidates are “Paper Tigers” where their claims on their resumes and during interviews are that and not pointing to any real value addition.

This problem has become so acute in the developing world that many research studies have noted that nearly 90% of all graduates are unemployable and this means that corporates have to spend time and money on training them before deploying them on the job or the floor.

Where the HR Manager’s Experience Pays Off

Lastly, while the discussion so far has focused on the flipsides of recruitment, it is also the case that seasoned and experienced middle management personnel and HR managers often spot a candidate and his or her fit for the role pretty quickly during the recruitment process.

However, there can be differences between the interview panel members and between different panels in successive rounds about this.

This is where the “singing off” authority or the management personnel who takes the final decision ought to draw upon his or her experience in making the final decision.

To conclude, recruitment is like dating and while it is difficult to determine whether each is made for the other quickly, with experience and consultations with others, one can surely arrive at a decision.

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Human Resource Management