What Does a Good Hire Look Like – Make Sure the Hiring Team is in Consensus

man and woman holding check signage

Hiring and why collaborating to establish with the team what a good hire looks like on paper before you start the process can improve your results.

If you work in HR and are responsible for recruiting, you know that finding the right candidate is not as easy as it sounds, especially in today’s market where we are constantly reminded that it is all about the candidate.

We have someone from above wanting to know when our new hire will be ready. We have a hiring manager who is too busy to talk because they (a) are really too busy, or (b) they don’t want anyone else telling them who to hire (or for that matter, how).

If you are HR, you have executed your first options, you have used anything FREE to get the job out including seeking referrals, posting to social media and writing about it both inside and outside the company on blogs, newsletters, anything short of waving a giant flag on top of the building, you’ve tried it.

But when the pressure mounts, you hit the job boards, trembling at the thought of the hundreds of responses you’ll have to weed through, knowing full well that you’ll be lucky to see less than half who might be qualified for the 20 minutes required to do a phone screen. You trudge on, digging yourself deeper and deeper. You move through phone screens and lots of discussions with candidates and internal staff and finally have enough candidates to coordinate a first in-person interview. Dear God that’s a hot mess, but you keep moving.

The candidates come and go and your mission is consensus. Something close to that. You ask who can come back and push for the ‘when’ but there’s a problem. No one can agree on who gets to come back. What’s worse? Some say no one.

Have you been there?

Hiring managers how much effort have you spent coordinating this process? Do you see how your willingness to cooperate at the beginning with whomever is tasked with helping you fill a role will actually speed up the process and help the results come in with better consensus?

What you need to do

Talk about the role with your team. Who has done well in this position before? Who does well in it now?

What does the best candidate look like? Have everyone write down atleast three things they would use to consider for what describes the best candidate. Then talk about it.

You will be surprised how different the top three list can be. Start by figuring out what background experience and hard skills did a former success in this role have that helped them do the job? Can you hire someone with some or does it have to be all of these skills? Would the right person be able to walk in the door with most of the skills and get up to speed with a little guidance? If so, who is going to be responsible for that task? They should definitely weigh-in on the options. What soft skills are required for a new candidate to work well with everyone they need to work with? Write all these ideas and observations down and prepare a checklist so that as everyone interviews, they are evaluating and searching against the same list.

Help your team hire the right candidate. Clarifying this information and sharing it with whomever starts the search for talent, changes the direction and timing of the entire project. It will save you time and help produce better results. And this helps the organization.

Note how I did not discuss the when here? That is a whole other article and something you as an organization really need to take note of and special care for in this day of candidate experience. More on that topic later.


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