How Do You Identify Good Job Candidates? Four Views

Situation: A company needs to hire several upper level managers to support growth objectives In the past they have selected candidates based on referrals from existing employees or management’s “gut feel” of candidates. The results have been inconsistent. What have you done to identify good job candidates?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The answer depends upon the success of your hiring in the past, both for areas where you are comfortable with the skill sets and those areas you are less comfortable. For example, you may be good at identifying candidates for technical positions, but not for sales and marketing.
  • One CEO’s “gut feel” hires have been consistently wrong. The solution has been to have recruiters screen and evaluate candidates. Once candidates are prequalified, only the best are presented to the CEO for final selection.
  • Another CEO uses a two-step process:
    • A recruiter selects and ranks their final two or three candidates.
    • Then the CEO gets a second opinion from another recruiter on the recommended choices of the first recruiter.
    • If both recruiters agree on the best candidate, the CEO meets the person and offers a job provided that they are compatible. If the recruiters disagree, the CEO probes the differences between the evaluations and decides whether to meet with one of the candidates.
  • Another CEO involves staff and uses a ranking system to evaluate candidates in areas of competence and fit. This produces composite scores that assist them in identifying the best candidate.

Key Words: Hiring, Manager, Selection, Referral, Gut Feel, Process, Skills, Head Hunter, Recruiter, Ranking

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