We have examined candidate sourcing techniques in the past in this blog. But the real effectiveness of the recruiting activity depends on the process one uses, little tips and tricks to identify good candidates and the diligence one shows in the activity.
At Pragna, we have been training our team on all these aspects – the process, tips & tricks and the being diligent. Below is a list of best practices from our training guide:
Call it 7 keys to effective candidate sourcing :-).
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Many organizations identify “Passion” as a very critical component in the candidate hiring process. No doubt I have had personal experiences of my own performance as well as others that I have seen vary based on their passion and the inherent drive towards a given task.
This becomes even more critical in leadership roles where one has to constantly define and pursue a mission. Last week I heard Dr. Vivek Mansingh (currently R&D head of Dell in India) speak at the Leadership summit on a topic – Leadership begins where Logic ends. He says that majority of our brain area is the emotional part and very small portion is actually the logical part (for which I could find some scientific evidence online). Regarding the assertion that Einstein used only 4% of the brain, how much do we use? I couldn’t locate any real evidence and most articles I read on this topic seem to suggest that the 4% number is more a myth. However one thing was clear from his experience as well as mine that normally individuals use a small portion of the brain and the rest requires some emotional thrust to put to use.
So what happens with finding individuals who have passion for a certain task or job is that it triggers their emotional part of the brain and channels all the energies to the specific task or goal. That’s how seemingly normal people start achieving great things that once seem impossible. It’s the constant drive, hunger, energy, commitment that “Passion” brings in to achieve greater results.
That provides some logic around the need to identify “Passion” for the mission/task/project however hazily one can gauge become as critical as the skill evaluation in the hiring process for key people in a company.
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At Pragna, we took upon the challenge of improving the candidate hit rates for Full-time (FTE) hiring. Improving the hit rates obviously provides significant advantage to Organizations – They can spend more time with project work and employee training than interviewing loads and loads of candidates for each position.
Here is a snapshot of the process that enabled us to achieve 100% or better improvement with candidate hit rates:
- Working with hiring managers, we prepared a very detailed profile of the position
- We employed targeted headhunting through social sites to identify pool of passive candidates
- We used a team that worked round-the-clock (from Seattle & Bangalore) to cover all timezones and international candidates
2. Technical Screening – Written
- We prepared a technical screening questionnaire tailored to each position and the job level
- The written answers are throughly evaluated by competent technical people (not recruiters but sr. engineers)
- We shortlisted candidates based on written test and examination of resume (spend 20 mins on reviewing/understanding resume vs. 2 mins
3. Technical Screening – In-depth Pragna Interview
- This interview is done by senior engineers of the same job level
- We did live meeting interview to visually see the coding abilities
4. Prepare a Candidate Scorecard
- We prepared a detailed analysis report that Pragna sent to hiring managers with details from our interview
- We identified strengths & weaknesses along with detailed descriptions of the problem we worked with the candidate
- Then we submitted the candidate with all the above documentation (saved managers precious time to weed out 90% of the candidates)
- We reviewed feedback on candidates after each client interview
- Based on each candidate (succesful or not), we optimized and updated our process to improve it
This resulted in significant gains to the organization in terms of both saving their precious time as well as getting better candidates and hires for the organization.
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Many folks have asked me – How does one determine if a resume is suited for Full-time (FTE) vs. Contract positions? The fundamental difference is in the intent for the Contract position is a specific short-term skill need whereas FTE is a hire for company for a specific skill with long term horizon where the employee could perform different roles/jobs in the company over time. There is no fool proof method, but below are certain characteristics that hold good most of the times, if not always:
Full-time or FTE hiring:
- Average tenure in previous jobs (atleast 3 yrs or more in US; so candidates have longer term horizon)
- More emphasis on academic qualifications
- Look for professional growth (has the candidate grown in skill/level of performance over time)
- Focus on overall candidate strengths especially in core fundamentals / concepts and Analytical skills vs. only specified skills (this is an important aspect since specific skills can be learnt over time and may become less important once a specific project is completed)
- Check if candidate has experience in a similar type of company (size, functional area etc.)
- Emphasis on soft skills like team management, program management etc.
- Focus on good matching of required skills and experience wrt to job requirements
- Look for breadth of project experience and types of projects and compare against current project they are going to work on; match the two as much as possible
- # of years of experience as a contract or consultant
- Ability to adapt quickly (e.g., flexible with process; deliverables etc. vs. having own strong views on them)
- Look for special attributes identified by hiring manager (for example, Analytical skills maybe important for a particular manager but generally less important for contract positions)
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