According to the Hudson Report on hiring trends in the third-quarter of last year, almost twice as many job seekers in Singapore are turning down job offers compared with those accepting an offer.

The increasingly buoyant job market this year means employers will face two major headaches: how to retain quality staff and how to hire the right person for the job as quickly as possible.

Here are a few suggestions:

Change the game

In most interviewing processes, there will be a combination of both subjective and objective measures to select the best candidate. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The classic subjective techniques are resumé reviews, face-to-face interviews and self-assessments such as personality tests. With some candidates lying on resumés and many bluffing their way through the interview, subjective assessment alone is extremely risky.

Objective assessments level the playing field. They include knowledge, skills and ability tests and background checks. The proper blend of objective and subjective assessments will dramatically improve your hiring success. The three main benefits are increased performance of new hires, reduced turnover and increased efficiency of the hiring process.

Selecting candidates who are more likely to perform will enhance the company’s performance over time. Additionally, people who perform well are likely to enjoy their work and remain on the job longer, which reduces turnover.

Finally, when dealing with many candidates, using pre-screening assessments can eliminate unsuitable candidates without taking up valuable time. For human resource departments with limited staff strength and budgets, this can help you do more with less, without sacrificing quality.

The following aspects will also be critical to an objective interview:

Ensure there is a clear presentation of the job description. Include items such as daily tasks and key performance indicators over differing periods (such as three months, six months or a year).

Use blind screening processes when deciding which candidates to interview. This means hiding certain information so candidates are offered an interview based solely on the strength of their applications. Have an administrator remove the names and any other identifying information from the job applications before passing them to line managers.

Use psychometric tests as part of your application process. Psychometric tests measure a broad range of attributes, including dexterity and specific abilities such as verbal, numerical, abstract and mechanical reasoning. They provide high-quality specific information on each candidate and feed into the overall picture of the potential employee. The more common tests in the market are Myers Briggs and DISC tests.

Give a structured interview. Ask the exact same questions. This puts the applicants on equal footing and makes the interviews as fair and objective as possible.

Give a panel interview. This interview involves more than one person in the room with the candidate. This allows each interviewer to form his own impression of the applicant and compare their thoughts about the person after the interview concludes. The hiring decision is based on the consensus of a committee.

Make sure they fit in

Office culture is often an overlooked element in hiring. It should be communicated as early as the screening process. Being upfront about a corporate culture will help the applicant to assess his preference.

Ensure proper induction

The hiring process doesn’t stop once the applicant signs the employment contract. The induction process is equally important to ensure that your new hire will commit to the company and not feel that he has made a career mistake. It is ideally done in a classroom format with slides in pointers to bring across the message consistently and easily.

Some of the must-have topics include:

* History of the organisation;

* Mission, vision and values;

* Purpose of the organisation

* Products and services;

* Organisational chart;

* Working hours and days;

* Working attire;

* Salary; and

* Issues and grievances channel.

Use social media

In the past five years, social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn have had a profound impact on the business world. With a higher traffic volume than all the job boards combined, social media allow you to build a good employer brand. They give you the space to emphasise your organisation’s qualities that you cannot fit into the usual job advertisements.

Whether you are selling a product or service, it is the people who run the business who will determine its success. So, start reviewing your hiring process and make the right changes.