One of the questions we often get from first-time outsourcers is how many candidates should they interview. At the same time, one of the most common mistakes we see outsourcers do is focus their hiring resources on one candidate at a time.
Finding the perfect person for the job is as rare as finding love at first sight.
You Go After Them Or They Go After You
First, remember that there are two ways you can find the person that will meet the job requirements – proactively and passively.
Proactive searching for remote workers means that you’re not just relying on your job post to attract applicants but instead you are searching for candidates who meet the specific skill requirements for the job itself.
Here are the basic steps of a proactive employee search:
1. You filter remote workers according to the skills required for the job (i.e. only show those candidates that listed “copywriting” as their top skill at level 4 or higher).
2. You review the profiles of those candidates displayed in the search results.
3. You contact the candidates that meet your skill requirements and proceed with your interview process.
Conversely, passive searching means that you’re depending solely on your ad to bring you the best candidate for the job.
It’s not surprising that we at Outsourcely recommend you proactively search for prospective employees. Yes, looking at profiles one by one and then messaging those potential candidates could take up to an hour to do. But trust us, it’s worth it!
YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY FISHERMAN IN THE OCEAN
Consider the outsourcing job market as an ocean where you are the fisherman and your Filipino prospects are the fish. These fish are hungry and will choose the fisherman with the largest bait.
And the reality is, you may not be the fisherman with the largest bait.
What do we mean? It means other employers just like yourself may be offering higher salaries, flexible work hours, paid holidays, 13th month bonus and other perks that you maybe cannot offer. This is especially true if you’re dealing with super active jobseekers who are applying to as many jobs as possible each day and are choosing the employer that gives them the most benefits. If you’re talking to only one applicant, you are running the risk of losing the candidate to other employers, leaving you without a backup option.
LET’S DO THE MATH…
We’re not advising employers to contact as many qualified candidates as possible just for the sake of it. It actually has to do with the attrition rates that we’ve observed over the years of employers outsourcing to the Philippines (or any country for that matter).
Here’s what we’ve seen:
Out of the 12 candidates that you are going to contact, only 6 will reply in the first one or two days – that’s a 50% fall out rate!
Out of the 6 remaining, only one will pass your screening process.
In short, you need to contact at least 12 applicants to find one that would meet the specific skill requirements of your job.
LOOKING FOR AN “EXACT FIT”
Just a quick disclaimer before we continue. You might be thinking, “Only one strong contender out of 12 candidates? Sounds like there’s a shortage of talent in the Philippines!”
There is definitely no shortage of talent in the Philippines. The country is home to excellent copywriters, web developers, graphics designers, virtual assistants, video editors and the list goes on and on. However, keep in mind that you are not only hiring for technical skills, you are also looking for soft skills and other very important attributes such as…
1. Work ethic
2. Communication skills
3. Attitude and character
4. Expected salary
5. Other specifics (i.e. educational attainment, availability on your preferred working hours)
You have an inherently better chance of finding the “exact fit” candidate with more prospects lined up for the interview.
FINDING SOMEONE WHO’S NOT WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR
As you’re going through your interview process, you may discover things you initially thought were not needed in a potential hire. But after interviewing a pool of candidates, you suddenly realize you actually have a need for a particular skill set.
For example, let’s say you’re looking to hire a video editor. At first, you may think you didn’t need this person to be a great communicator. As long as they have the skills needed to produce great videos. However, because you searched, contacted and interviewed a pool of applicants (who already had the skills needed for the job) you’ve come across someone who is also very conversational.
You then realize that because this person has great communication skills, you find it easier to relay instructions. Not only that, you also realize that having great communication skills allows this person to be a great collaborator, someone who you can brainstorm with.
If you’re only focusing your attention of contacting one candidate at a time, most likely you will hire the first draw that meets your criteria. But you’d be stripping yourself of the opportunity of meeting a prospect who has all the technical skills you need plus at ton more.
BACKUP CANDIDATES JUST IN CASE
It rarely happens, but it does. You hire someone. You agree on the terms. You set the start date.
And then they don’t show up! You can no longer reach the person you just hired. They are not answering your emails or instant messages. Suddenly, you are left with no one. Just like that, you are back to square one.
This is frustrating and stressful especially if the tasks are urgent.
And the worst part is that you don’t have anyone on your list that you can reach out to and do a interview because you only contacted one person. As opposed to if you’ve contacted a dozen potential candidates. If for some reason the employee you hired did not show up or could not fulfill the task at hand, then you can always go back to your list of candidates, look at who was your top 2 or 3 pick and offer them the job instead.
GIVES YOU A DATABASE OF GOOD PROSPECTS FOR FUTURE NEEDS
Let’s say you’re looking to hire a writer. Right now, you only need one writer based on your workload and budget.
But what if your business suddenly boomed and you needed more content for your blog or website? You would need to re-post your job and go through the entire interview process all over again.
However, if you contacted more than one candidate when you were hiring the first time around, you’d already have a list of potential candidates to go back to.
Of course, you can still search for the specific skills needed but going through your original list and reaching out to those who “almost made it” is an easier and faster way for you to fill up these additional vacancies in your company. That is of course, if they are still available.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO POOL POTENTIAL CANDIDATES
Of course, there may be times when you would need to hire right here, right now. However, as much as possible, give yourself time to look through profiles and pool as many potential candidates as you can. We cannot over emphasize the importance of planning your manpower needs carefully so you can interview as many applicants and make the best choice possible.
AN OUTSOURCELY EXPERT TIP
If it’s in your budget, you can always ask 2 or 3 strong candidates to undergo your PAID 30-day trial period at the same time. Most likely only one will pass. This is because a candidate may be good on paper and speak well during the interview process, but falls short when it comes to the actual work itself.
On the flipside, there are candidates that don’t have an extremely impressive profile, might not communicate well during the interview process, but deliver five-star output when it comes to the actual work.
INTERVIEWING ONE WON’T LEAD YOU TO THE ONE
When investing, we are told not to put all our eggs in one basket. It’s the same strategy with outsourcing. You should never put all your eggs in one candidate.