How to make hiring decisions

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Hiring process
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Knowing how to make hiring decisions can help or hurt your company

Finding the right applicant for the position can look to be a daunting task. From resumes to phone interviews -- and everything in between -- finding that perfect candidate for your office can rest heavily on you as an employer. It's where common sense, reference checks, in-person interviews, and more, will all come into play as you search for that right fit for your company.

Below are a few ideas for ways to make better hiring decisions.

It All Starts with the Resume

Employers will receive an enormous amount of resumes from prospective workers interested in the open position. What differentiates each resume and the qualifications for candidates will depend on the employer and what he or she can glean from the synopsis of a worker's life.

In regards to a resume, be sure to check whether or not there is a progression for the worker in terms of attaining more responsibility and/or leadership roles within their previous organizations. Where did they work?  Was it a larger institution or a smaller, boutique style firm or business? What are you, as the employer, looking for specifically? Does this candidate fit within the requirements you have set forth?

It's important to note that the read-through of a resume is just the initial step in finding an adequate worker for your company. If there's a resume which interests you, but you're not sure whether to move forward, a phone call can be a great way to introduce yourself, see whether or not the resume was a fluke, and potentially find a winning candidate for your business.

The Initial Phone Conversation

This can be performed as a screening of potential candidates; you liked their resume and it's time to wean down the competition for the position. It's your job here to present your company to them and keep them interested in the first place. That being said, this will be your chance to ask questions on past work experiences, future goals, and more.

A phone interview may take the place of an in-person interview, but for most employers it's just used as a screen of sorts in order to find candidates to come in for the real job interview. Understand that this is just part of the process and that it is a second step toward finding that perfect candidate for your work place.

The Interview

Here are a few questions for the employer to think about as they head into -- and beyond -- the interview:
  • Is the applicant qualified for the position?
  • Has the potential employee explained his or her employment goals?
  • Does the applicant express enthusiasm, present a professional appearance, and speak positively about previous employers?
  • Was he or she prepared for the interview or did they backtrack when trying to answer questions?
  • How would you rate the applicant's people skills, communication, notions on strengths and weaknesses, etc.?
  • How well did they sell themselves during their interview?

As is the norm, the job interview is the main event for employers looking to find the right worker for their corporation. Here are a few ways in which to handle the actual interview and subsequent hiring decisions:

  • Try to keep the applicant honest by frequently checking for references and asking if you may contact these previous employers
  • Ask questions that bring forth real answers, not just simple responses that won't help you to gauge their answers as well as you should
  • Have candidates discuss, in detail, their past work experiences, moving from past to present in order to glean a better understanding of work done, skills learned, and promotions that may have been doled out to the candidate
  • Once again, it's not all about them; this is a chance for you to sell your company and the position to them, as well

After the interview (or before) it can be an important step to go beyond the references the candidate provided on their resume. This can be to speak with contacts or others who have had experience working with them. To find out the most pertinent facts of your potential new hire, it will take a little bit more digging in order to get the full story of who they are and how they will fit with your company.

Resources: Making the Right Hiring Decision. Top Tips for Making Good Hiring Decisions.

Above photo attributed to Ted Murphy

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