What questions do you ask to distinguish between qualified candidates? All of a sudden the decision becomes a little trickier. Many hiring managers are put in a difficult position when they’re down to their top candidate choices.
Hiring the right candidate for your open role is easy when you have a clear winner in the interview process. But what do you do when you’re torn between equally qualified job candidates? Flipping a coin might seem tempting, but settling doesn’t just put a less-than-ideal person in the position, it can actually lower employee engagement.
Gallup discovered 82% of hiring processes didn’t pick the person with the right talent, resulting in lower employee engagement. Another problem with choosing the incorrect candidate is the impact on employee turnover. Add the wrong person into your employee mix, especially at management and executive levels, and you could be looking at the cause of 80% of your turnovers.
So how do you make the final decision of job candidates? Ask yourself these four essential questions.
Ask candidates to provide or discuss performance data in the interview. Getting to the cold, hard facts and figures helps you determine whether a candidate can meet the performance metrics you are expecting.
We are always looking for an employee beyond the job descriptions. Often times, the job description doesn’t make mention of the “secret weapon” skills that a candidate really needs to succeed in the role.
Talk to employees working in the department or holding the same position to find out what the most important skill sets are in handling the workload. Or, if you are hiring the first person in this role, reach out to someone from your network who has hands-on experience in the same role.
Culture mismatch is a major factor that separates a candidate with great potential from an actual great employee. According to Leadership IQ, 46% of employees fail before 18 months with a company. These failures are rarely due to the wrong skills, as only 11% fall into that category. It is important to remember that technical competence is not the only factor to focus on in an interview.
Make sure potential employees align with your company’s culture, including workspace as well as have the right temperament and emotional intelligence. The candidate who fits in better with your existing culture will more likely be one of the 19% who achieve unequivocal success.
Ambition is a double-edged sword. Highly ambitious candidates bring significant motivation and energy to the table, but if you do not provide them with room for advancement, they may quickly burn through mobility potential in their new position.
Look at top candidates’ growth paths in their previous positions. Do you offer the growth potential they are looking for, or do they advance so rapidly they’re going to start looking for another job with higher goalposts in six months or a year? You want to assess if you have what they need as well as if they have what you need.
In a perfect world, you would have room for all the desserts. However, in the real world of hiring, you have to pass on some — but that does not mean you can’t revisit your options in the future.
Let other candidates know that it was a tough choice and that you are planning to keep their resumes on hand for new positions that may open up. You have already handled a big chunk of the screening and interviewing process, so there is no reason to throw all that work away.