Despite your best efforts the perfect recruitment process simply doesn't exist. What you can do, however, is reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person for the job and avoiding those inevitable issues which come from a poor recruiting decision.
The bigger picture means, this doesn't just include the cost of recruiting, training, paying and then getting them out there, it is also the missed business opportunities and the damage they can do to your company while in that role. Add to the mix the disruption they can cause, their negativity and its impact on other staff, the cost to replace them and loss of productivity while training up their replacement and you can see just how costly hiring the wrong person really can be!
The following steps can ease the pressure somewhat and give you guidelines to work to during the recruitment process.
If you don't fully understand the job or what the role entails how can you choose who is the best person to fill it? This sounds like common sense yet many HR managers are interviewing people for roles of which they have only seen the details on a piece of paper.
Go to the department you will be recruiting for, spend time observing and learning the extra duties the role entails outside of the remit. What is the atmosphere like? Is it highly charged and noisy indicating everyone is under pressure or is there a professional calmness indicating everyone knows their role and is fulfilling it with ease and confidence? Meeting the staff and knowing what it takes to work in that department will greatly assist you in selecting the best candidate.
This is something you can do from the outset in the job advert and while it may well result in less candidates it's better they realise they aren't suited to this role now than further down the line. Put a realistic job preview, on the advert giving examples of scenarios they could find themselves in on a daily basis. Your response to how they have dealt with these scenarios in the form of feedback gives them a better understanding of whether they should apply for this role or not.
Online situational judgement tests, or psychological aptitude tests, that can give both sides a good indication of how well they will fit in with the company beyond their skills and experience. Every candidate is given the same test allowing you to narrow down the field before the formal interviews based on their responses. These scenarios should be based on the candidates behaviours and attitudes not their skills, and is currently one of the many buzzwords in recruitment when it comes to testing how well they will fit into the company culture.
Treat your candidates with respect from their initial contact right through their journey, however long or short that may be. Think of your candidates as potential customers, you want to give them the best possible, but honest, impression of your company and how it works. Try to make the process as interesting as possible, contact them after stage telling them whether they are progressing or not. If they don't get the job tell them why not, nicely of course, so they have something to take from the experience that will improve their chances of getting the next job they go for.