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What Recruitment Can Learn From The Election Campaign

Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015

Someone putting a vote In a ballot box

The race for No 10 has started.  If the first day is something to go by, we can all get ready for almost six weeks of candidates taking over every media platform in the world, political mud throwing and election buses breaking down.  Amidst the complete chaos of the political campaigns, it can be easy to lose track of your own beliefs and be swayed by fiery debates and promises that are probably too good to be true. 

How does the search for the right job candidate mirror the election campaign? 

Is the candidate realistic?

When interviewing, make sure you can distinguish ambition and high confidence from a realistic approach to the candidate’s own capabilities. It’s easy to fall for false promises, as these are easy to communicate back to the client. Yet, the client is likely to be better off in the long term by hiring a candidate with a proven track record of achieving similar results in the past.  

Is the candidate able to describe both their strengths and their weaknesses?

I won’t have to tell you that during an interview, candidates are likely to do anything to present themselves in the best possible light. They will be keen to discuss their successes, and less keen to discuss their failures. Although an interview should mainly focus on a person’s accomplishments, a candidate who knows the areas in which they should aim to improve is more likely to continue to grow in the job. 

Is the candidate avoiding certain questions?

Be aware of political answers. Does the candidate answer the interview questions as closely and accurately as possible, or are they trying to beat around the bush or steer the conversation back to an area in which they clearly feel more at ease? The candidate could be trying to hide a skills gap or an occurrence in their professional career they are less proud of. 

Remember the exact requirements of the client

Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away in the recruitment process. Solid hiring decisions begin with an accurate job description. Charisma is important, but the way a candidate communicates – or their general charm – shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of finding the right person for the job. It’s important to bear in mind what your client really needs and fill these requirements by recruiting the candidate that displays all of the necessary skills and characteristics. Which attributes are most likely to get your client the results they’re after? 

Does the candidate have a strong network?

When preparing for an interview, try to find out more about the candidate’s professional network. Do they have good references from earlier employment, or do they have a lot of endorsements on social media platforms like LinkedIn? This could suggest they work well in a team or have consistently achieved or even surpassed expectations in previous assignments.

If you are trying to fill job vacancies with the ideal candidates for the job, go to our Hirer Portal and let Zoek help you achieve smarter, faster recruitment.

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