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Get the Right Input on Hiring Decisions

Ask The Expert

By Barbara Mitchell

Q: I’m close to making a decision about a new hire, and I’ll be bringing in final candidates for additional interviews. I don’t want to do panel interviews, but who else, in addition to me, should be included in the process and hiring decision?

A: The answer to this question depends on your organization’s culture. Some organizations are quite rigid in how they select new hires, and sometimes executive directors and CEOs want to be part of the hiring process. If that’s the case for your organization, make sure you bring your top leaders into the process at the right time.

When putting an interview process together, it makes sense to have your final candidate (or even top two candidates) interview with some of the people with whom they will have the most interaction. For example, if you’re hiring a financial analyst, you may want to have candidates meet with senior leaders who will use the data the analyst will prepare.

Pick a date when the people you want your candidate to meet are available and schedule interviews back to back. Be sure to build in time for breaks during the day.

Savvy organizations gather observations on job candidates from anyone who interacts with them.

You’ll want to talk with the people who interview your candidate immediately after their meeting to gather their impressions while fresh. I strongly suggest you set a debriefing meeting with your colleagues at the same time you make the interview appointment. That way you’ll know it is on their calendar.

Also consider having your final candidates meet with the staff who would be their peers in your department. Arrange a department lunch either onsite or at a restaurant where you, your team, and the candidate interact over a casual meal. This is an opportunity to observe the candidate’s interaction with servers and other support personnel as well as how they connect with your staff.

Let your team know you want them to engage the candidate in conversation, observe the candidate’s behavior, and provide their input. Allowing your staff to play a part in the decision-making process will help you incorporate the new hire into your team and help him or her become productive as quickly as possible.

Savvy organizations gather observations on job candidates from anyone who interacts with them. For example, after a candidate leaves, take a minute to chat with the receptionist to get his or her impressions of the person. How people treat support staff is something you want to pay attention to.

The information shared by others should help you make a good hiring decision and position your new staff member for success when he or she joins you.

Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR and The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Do you have a question you’d like her to answer in “Ask the Expert”? Send it to [email protected]