Hiring the right candidate for any open position can be difficult. Even when a prospective employee looks excellent on paper, they might not fit in well with the organization’s culture. Checking references, studying their experience, and taking time to assess their demeanor and personality during an in person interview are all excellent methods to form a good picture.

The only problem is that the candidate will almost always attempt to put their best foot forward on an interview. The person in the clean, polished, professional wardrobe with ready answers is not the exact person they are on a daily basis. To be fair, the way you present your organization is likely less than the full picture. These initial introductions are always the best face of the company and the applicant. The question is, how do you assess this information accurately to make sure you’re hiring the right candidate?

How to Honestly Assess How the Candidate Will Fit Your Organization

Building an atmosphere of transparency and honesty isn’t a top priority in most of the things you’ve learned about hiring for an open position. The reality is that it should be. You don’t just want the best candidate, you want the right one. That means finding someone who will be happy and productive in your organization for a long term engagement. They need to be able to accurately assess the position in order to see if they fit in your company.

Here are some tips to cut through the persona the candidate shows you, and to help them see the reality of the job and your organization’s atmosphere.

  • Be Clear in Your Job Description. It’s important that candidates understand just what type of work they will be doing. Creating job descriptions can be tedious, but it’s important. Don’t skip steps and make sure that you note things that will be important to their daily responsibilities. If the position calls for a lot of interaction with team members, you should highlight the fact that you’re looking for someone who works well in a team environment.
  • Add Their Social Media to Your Reference Check. More and more often companies are researching candidates by their social media profiles. This is a good practice because you can see if employees post about work or if they ever divulge too much information about patients and coworkers. It also gives you a better glimpse into their personality when they’re not necessarily trying to impress. Keep in mind, though, what people show on social media is also filtered to present an image they choose.
  • Consider Having Candidates Fill the Position for a Day or Two. This seems unorthodox, but having a prospective employee come in on a trial basis will give you a far more complete picture of how they work with staff and how quickly they catch on to procedures.
  • Assessment Tests. You can assess skills during the interview process to give you a better picture of how the candidate performs certain functions. Some organizations will also have employees complete pre-employment assessment tests to help gain good insights into the employee’s soft skills, such as personality traits.
  • Take Them to Meet Other Staff Members. If the candidate looks great on paper, tests well, and flies through the interview process, you might want to take them on a tour of where they will be working. It’s ideal if you can have other staff members meet with them, as well. This allows you to get their thoughts on the candidate before making a final hearing decision. It also lets the candidate get a better idea of their future work environment, should they take the position.

It’s natural for the candidate and organization to present only positive aspects during the interview process. For you, it’s important to get a fuller picture, not to necessarily find faults but to find out if that candidate’s individual personality will enhance your team. The best candidate on paper isn’t always the best candidate for your organization. Adding more robust measures to your hiring process can cut down the risk of hiring the wrong candidate.