Hiring Handbook: De-risking a Hiring Decision

Sometimes you meet a candidate and you just know that they are they person for the job.  They seem to understand exactly what’s going on without a lot of preamble. By the end of the interview, you are practically finishing each other’s sentences.

But there are other times when you are just not sure.  You know they are smart and have relevant experience but you are just not certain they will be a fit.

What to do about this?

You can kick them to the curb.  It sounds mean but if you really have serious doubts, then you don’t need to invest any more time in the process.

You can have the candidate meet with other people who would interact with them in the organization.  The manager once-removed, peers and members of the team are all possible sources of input.  You can line up a few meetings and then collect the feedback.  You can even share your concerns or provide some of the questions.

References will also provide some insight into how the person will perform.  I am not a fan of back door references (when you talk to someone who knows the candidate without the candidate’s knowledge or consent) but they can be an effective way to gather real information.  You can learn about how they show up everyday and how they deal with stress.

Finally, you can consider using a formal assessment.  I don’t mean a quick and dirty online thing but a real assessment. One that includes input from the hiring manager, an interview with the candidates by a knowledgeable person and a formal debrief with the hiring team.  This type of formal information from someone unrelated to the hiring process may provide real comfort about the person joining your team.

The bottom line is that you should take as much time as you  need to make the right decision. It will be worth it in the end.

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