Selection Process (II)

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The selection process is no easy task and can often take days or weeks to complete thoroughly. Sometimes this can scare potential employees away while others don’t mind the wait to join your team. Keep the candidates you don’t hire on file for back up and focus your energy on the candidates that did make it through your screening process.

Education Level vs. Experience

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Resumes are not usually balanced in that the candidate usually has a longer list of past job experiences or a longer list of education and degrees. In some cases, job experience may weigh more than formal education, or vice versa, depending on the position available. In these cases, evaluate the position and determine what it would need more for the employee to succeed. Highly educated individuals may have some of the newest information in the industry and formal training about these positions. However, candidates with more work experience have more hands on training and more first-hand knowledge of the kind of work available. For the position you’re hiring, which would be more important? Which would benefit the company more? Don’t forget to trust your instincts and go with what your gut tells you.

Have a Consensus

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As the hiring process comes to a close, now is the time to build a consensus and review every aspect of the interviews that have been conducted. Many people are involved in the hiring process, so before a final decision is reached, have a consensus between all of the interviewers. Take time to consult with each interviewer and compare notes, ratings, and opinions. Gather how each person feels about the candidate and how they think they would fit into the company. When a group weighs the pros and cons together, they are more likely to find a better choice for the position than if one person tries to take on the task themselves.

Build a consensus:

  • Consult with all interviewers
  • Compare notes and ratings
  • Ask for opinions and perspectives
  • Come to an agreement about who to hire

Keep Non-Hires on File

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Even if you decide not to hire an applicant, keep their information on file with the company for a certain amount of time. An interview can collect several types of personal information, so the company may need to create a folder for each applicant to keep their information together in one place. Although they were not chosen this time, it is a good idea to keep these files on hand for future use. You may want to revisit these candidates if another position comes open or if you need a temporary worker in another department. They are also a good resource to have if your top choice does not work out and you will need to consult the next person in line. Rank the non-hire by the likeliness to be hired next in case you will need to offer the position to someone else – and know that you will have their information nearby and ready to go!

Checking References

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The last step of the hiring process is the process of checking the candidate’s references that were offered on the application or resume. In a standard position, 3-5 references are great, while upper management positions can require up to 10, most of which should consist of previous managers or coworkers and few personal references. Even though you’ve gathered firsthand knowledge about the candidate from the interview and started to form your own opinion, references allow you to speak with an outside source that has also worked with or knows the candidate and has a perspective of their own. Review the candidate’s references and determine which one, or ones, to contact and why. While it is usually best to speak with a manager or department head, don’t underestimate the value of a reference from a coworker or a subordinate employee. These types of references will offer more insight on how the candidate interacts personally, as well as professionally, with their team members. Create a list of questions to ask the reference ahead of time so that you don’t leave out anything. Always remember that even if the reference does not give a glowing review, it does not exclude the candidate from being hired. Take all information into consideration before making any final decisions.

Tips for checking references:

  • Gather professional references rather than personal ones
  • Ask to speak with a manager or HR representative
  • Determine what you want to know from the reference 
  • Prepare questions before checking with the reference

Case Study

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Brad was trying to select a candidate to hire for the open position in the marketing department. Since he interviewed the candidate with a panel, he decided to have a group meeting with them and build a consensus about how they feel about the applicant. They reviewed notes taken and compared their different ratings. One of the other panelists checked the references, which came back with good reviews and without a hitch. One panelist admired how the candidate had recently gone back to school for a degree in marketing, so they not only had job experience, but now had the latest knowledge about the industry as well. Once the panel agreed to hire this candidate, they created separate files for the other candidates that were not hired and filed them by what order they would be hired next, just in case something happened with their first choice and they would need to move on to the next candidate.