February 3


So You Think You Know Talent?

Hiring the Right Candidate

Have you ever hired someone and suddenly realized you had made a mistake and they were not a good fit? Did you think back through what happened or what could be learned? Did you just go with your gut? Did you miss all the signs? I know we all have. What I have learned over the years that has helped me, I want to share.

Check Your Job Description

First, before you post the job opening make sure the job description is up to date. It is critical so not to have problems later. Once the resumes have been reviewed, determine what candidates will be asked to interview. Make sure the candidate actually possesses the educational background you require before contacting the employee. I cannot tell you how many people make this mistake. In the case of hiring for a position that requires specific academic credentials have them send you unofficial copies in advance. It is actually surprising how many people think the name of their degree is a match but upon further examination after transcript review it is something else. Also if interviewing for a teaching or training position, build in a mock presentation as part of the interview process.

Hold at Least 3 Interviews

At a minimum hold at least 3 interviews with the candidate. These may be a combination of phone, face to face or SKYPE, individual or group. So why three? Candidates can always be on their best for one interview, but can they sustain it? You need to see the candidate at different times of the day and by different people.

Make sure everyone has a copy of the current job description as well as one for the candidate. This will help focus everyone on what is required. We know most candidates are not a 100% match. Find out where the gaps are so you can decide if training can help or if the gaps are too great and not a match after all.

Come Prepared with Good Questions

Have a set of questions that behavioral, situational and job related. Make sure everyone has the questions in advance and a rating sheet so the most objective decision can be made. Prior to the interviews, make sure everyone on the intervening team knows the expectations and their role. Without this preparing, the interview can go badly. The interview is twofold. You are trying to find the right candidate and the candidate is trying to determine if this position and company is a good fit. Without interviewer’s preparation, I have found individuals decide to make it tough on potential candidate and ruin it for the company. So you have to invest time up front to make the process work.

Confirm the Candidate is the Right Fit

Finally, I believe you have to ask yourself can I work with this person? Is this person going to elevate and improve our operation? Does this candidate bring a unique skills set we are lacking and need? These may not be typical Human Resources questions but seem to work for me. Check references for both external and internal candidates. My intention was to always hire up from a quality level. Our world changes so fast and cannot remain at the same level.


Is this a recipe for 100% success? No but it is close. Share with me what works for you. I would love to know.


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