How To Hire The Right Job Candidate

A resume only tells you so much. To increase your chances of choosing the best prospective employee, consider these steps.
May 25, 2011

A resume only tells you so much. Same with an interview. The truth is, you don't know how an employee will truly perform until they start working for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two out of three new hires will not meet your expectations. To increase your chances of choosing the person who will, consider a few things.

1. It's important to remember that your interview with the job candidate should be more than a test for chemistry. You may get along well with someone, but that doesn't mean he or she is qualified for the job. It's important to ask crucial questions that are indicative of performance, and bring the person in more than once if possible. It's also important to introduce the potential candidate to key people at the company— especially those that he or she will be working with daily. There's a reason that companies like Google have such an intensive interview process.

2. Realize that your potential candidate is a new personality. This person will bring new skills and fresh ideas to the company. Although you may have an idea of what you're expecting in a candidate, stay open- minded. This person may be exactly what your company needs.

3. Personality or skills-set exams will help you weed out candidates. Remember that most people exaggerate on their resumes, cover letters and in interviews—so it's important to ensure that your candidate meets the basic qualifications of the job.

4. Beyond a skills-set check, do a thorough background check. This includes calling at least three references and asking telling questions about the candidate. If you've got the right person, his or her references should be glowing. If they're not—and there seems to be a disconnect—ask your candidate to explain. There may be more to the story.

5. During your discussions with the employee, be very candid about the duties involved with the position. There should be transparency on both ends. If not, you could end up hiring someone only to see them leave a few months later.

And that's the real take-away point here. Hiring an employee should be a vigorous, yet enjoyable process if you've got the right person in line. If not, wait—because the cost of replacing your candidate is typically 75 to 200 percent of salary, according to BNET. Now that's a risk you don't want to take.