Many regions are coming out of the pandemic now, economies are growing again, and companies are hiring.


You identified the need for a new team member and completed the job description long ago.  Your HR department’s recruitment efforts generated a long list of candidates, and these have been pre-screened.


The task at hand now is to select the right candidate.  Get it right and you will have a new employee that hits the ground running and adds value to your team.  But selecting the wrong candidate can be a significant waste of time and money.


Here are some tips for selection:


  • References: take time to verify the candidate’s employment history and understand how they get work done.  Consider asking references for other references to minimise the risk of bias.


  • Interviewing: ask open-ended questions, use competency-based interviewing and case studies to get evidence of the skills and behaviours the candidate used.  Ask them what they’re not good at.


  • Selection is more than the interview: use personality tests and skills-based questionnaires.  Ask the candidate to complete tasks or to make a presentation relevant to the job.  Get well-rounded profiles of potential candidates.


  • Meet the team: make sure that candidates spend plenty of time with other staff, managers and your team and in a variety of situations.  Colleagues can give useful feedback on the candidate.


  • Listen: always listen carefully to the questions candidates ask.  The interview is a dialogue where both you and the candidate ask each other questions to determine fit.


  • Pre-hire work: the chance of successful selection increases dramatically if you have worked with the candidate before.  Sometimes it’s possible to arrange an internship, consulting project or contract work before making the decision to hire.


  • How you and they work: understanding your firm’s culture is a foundation stone for successful hiring.  Once you’ve done that probe for your candidate’s values or interpersonal skills to see if they are a good fit with your culture.


  • Expectations: understand how well the candidate’s development plans fit with growth in the job and business.  Be open and candid on prospects.


  • Trust your instinct and the process: if you have gone through the process above and the candidate does not feel like a good fit, despite being well qualified for the job, then trust your instinct!

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