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How to hire the right employee part 3: how to select

Wendy Guilbault

By: , Manager, Human Resources

It’s selection time! You’re now in the home stretch of the hiring process.

This is the final post in our blog series on how to hire the right employee. Hiring can take a lot of time and hard work, and we wanted to break this process down for you in a series of three blog posts:

  1. How to Recruit
  2. How to Interview
  3. How to Select

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the first two posts, give them a read to ensure your hiring process is successful.

How to Select

Step 1 – Conduct Reference Checks

Narrow down your candidate list following your in-person interviews, and ask your finalists to provide at least three work-related references, preferably a manager or supervisor the candidate reported to directly. A hiring manager should always have approval from the candidate before calling references. Remember to prepare a list of questions before calling your candidates’ references to ensure you get all the information you need.

Consider the following questions before making a reference call:

  • What do you want to know?
  • What questions will you ask?
  • What questions can’t you ask?

When you contact a reference, identify yourself and your position, state the reason for your call, describe the job and the competencies you’re seeking, and thank the reference for their time and cooperation.

Depending on the position and the organization, you may also want to perform a criminal record check or an educational check. This is only necessary for finalists, and you should always obtain a candidate’s signed authorization prior to conducting these checks.

Step 2 – Select a Candidate

It’s decision-making time! Interviewers should work together soon after interviewing the finalists to select the best candidate. Review each candidate’s interview answers, post-interview evaluations, and reference checks to determine which one is most qualified and best suited for the position.

If you’re having trouble making a decision, you may want to consider doing a second interview with each candidate you’re deciding between. You could have different interviewers meet with the finalists, or you could have the same interviewers and ask different questions. Only include people who will impact the hiring decision. If you decide a second round of interviews is necessary, schedule them and assess whether or not the candidate fits the needs of the position and the organization’s culture. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the candidate align with the corporate culture, values, and policies?
  • Does the candidate have the right skills, experience, and education to successfully complete the job?
  • Does the candidate have potential to grow and the ability and willingness to take on more responsibility?
  • Can the candidate get along with coworkers and customers? Can he or she work harmoniously with you and others?
  • Is the candidate a team player? Is he or she honest and trustworthy?
  • Does the candidate understand and agree with the salary range for the position?

If required, prepare for a second interview – develop interview questions, arrange additional meetings and introductions, and set up skill tests (if applicable). Depending on the position, you may want to test candidates on language skills, financial analysis, writing skills, or technical abilities.

During the second interview, make sure to provide a detailed description of the position and sell the job using factors such as a competitive benefits package, workplace amenities, or an engaging corporate culture. You may also want to give the candidates a tour of the office, and make sure to give them a realistic job preview.

After this point, you should be ready to make a decision. It’s time to present the successful candidate with an offer of employment. Remember, if applicable, the offer of employment may be subject to the results of the background check(s).

Step 3 – Contact Candidates Not Selected

Remember to send letters to the candidates you interviewed who did not get the job. These applicants deserve a sincere letter from you, thanking them for their consideration and for interviewing for the job. Clearly explain that another candidate most closely matched the qualifications specified in the job description.

If you plan to retain any of the job applications, make sure to let the candidates know so they’re aware you might still consider them for other jobs that may arise within the organization.

You’ve now gone through the entire hiring process. It may seem daunting, but if you follow it step-by-step, you’ll be more likely to find the right match for the job!

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