Recruitment – Step 9 – How to compare great candidates – for Leaders

Wow – congratulations! You have managed to attract and meet with more than one great person for your role. This is an enviable position and you should be proud of your hard work in showcasing this great opportunity with your team.

The first thing to consider, do you have to choose? Can you have more than one person? Are you expecting an increase in workload or growth that would justify hiring more than one person? It doesn’t have to be immediately but think ahead.

Great people take time to find so if you can find an opportunity for all the great people you have met through this process you would be saving yourself a lot of time down the track.

Even if your situation does not allow you to take more than one person on board it is imperative you maintain a relationship with candidates you think would be a great fit. Build your own talent pool, your own community of potential stars.


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Once you have exhausted all your options for taking all the great talent into your organisation you may well have to make a decision.

You may want to consider getting a colleague or someone in your team to meet two or more candidates if you are really struggling to separate them. A customer or supplier may also bring a fresh perspective and give you feedback on who they see in the role.

Go back to the thinking you put in to your position description and job advertisement. What were you after and who is in the best position to perform the role?

Draw up a quick table with the capabilities and qualities you are after in the role and include a column for each shortlisted candidate. It may even be helpful to use a scoring system of 1-5 with 5 being the strongest and keep yourself accountable by including evidence for each attribute. This will help tease out your thinking and give you some clarity. Keep it simple and just include what really matters to you.

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mwah. making work absolutely human

Reference checks will also help you to make the decision. You will gain more information about each candidate and get a better feel for how they might fit into your team.

Don’t be afraid to be transparent with your shortlisted candidates and let them know you are close to a decision but would like to meet them again. There are no rules about how many interviews or meetings you should have and this is a really big decision. It will change the mix of your team and is not a decision to be rushed or taken lightly. Great candidates will appreciate you taking the time and giving the decision due consideration.

If appropriate you could even invite them in for a trial. This is especially relevant if you are in a hospitality environment and you will see firsthand how they work with their colleagues and customers.

For a more formal environment inviting them to a team day or planning session may work well for you. You could also assign your shortlisted candidates with a case study taken from an actual work problem. This would give you a great indication of how they would approach issues at work and get a feel for their thinking process.

Whatever your decision don’t lose sight of this being a really important and perhaps quite stressful time for the candidates. Make sure you are really proud of how you treat them throughout this process. Keep communicating and let them know where they stand. Take the approach that everyone wins, even the people that are not chosen for this role can really benefit from some great feedback from you to stand them in good stead for the next opportunity. Take it one step further, can you connect them with someone in your network who may have the right opportunity?

It’s pretty simple, just treat them like you would love to be treated as a candidate.

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mwah. making work absolutely human

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