Making a Final Selection
At this point we have described the recruitment process and now we deal with making the hiring decision. We also discuss how a good HR Manager should handle things if the decision-making starts to go wrong.
If all has gone smoothly through the interviewing stage you should now be in a position to choose from an interviewed short-list. It is likely that some of the short-listed candidates failed the interview stage, perhaps they didn’t present themselves as well as expected, or there was a mismatch between the CV and reality which was uncovered by meeting them. This is quite normal and it underlines the importance of face-to-face interviews.
You might decide to do it after the interview stage or before but you should now be applying other selection techniques. This could be calling for work samples, written tests, and oral presentations. These should be as close as possible to real life work tasks without involving commercially sensitive information.
If you are using a selection panel it is now time to meet to evaluate the candidates against each-other. This should happen as soon as possible, particularly when you are recruiting for a hard-to-fill position. Often organisations now take far too long to come to a decision and overlook the fact that in an employee-driven market like Cambodia the shortlisted candidates may be on short-lists for other employers. Slow-moving organisations are staffed with second or third choices from short-lists so your job as a recruiter is to make sure your organisation hires the first choice.
No new criteria
Whoever is leading the decision-making must not be allowed to bring in new criteria at this stage, if you have carried out your process well then the best person for the job should now be on your list. Very often the managers involved in the selection process at the final stage will try to revise the responsibilities and duties of the position to bring them in line with the candidate they are interested in hiring. This is not in itself a mistake, in fact in smaller organisations it is quite normal, but if you are the Human Resources Manager or the talent acquisition leader your role is to point out what you see happening and that the changes being planned may have impacts on the organisation which are unseen.
No new candidates
Another common mistake is for a hiring manager or other senior manager to have a preferred candidate on the short-list but then ask to see more candidates to compare this candidate to. This is generally a sign of managerial weakness and lack of willingness to make a decision. It also shows a lack of understanding of, or lack of confidence in, the recruitment process. The in-house recruiter’s job is to explain that the work done leading up to this point was designed and carried out for the very purpose of doing that ‘comparing’ for the organisation and removing candidates who didn’t fit the position. What that manager is actually asking is for you to repeat the whole process just for the sake of ‘comparing’. The most likely outcome of this is that you will lose the preferred candidate to another employer, the new candidates will not be as strong as your current short-list and you will end up hiring the second or third choice.
Careful reference checking is an important way to avoid hiring the wrong person. The best way to do this is to devise your own reference check form for the referee to complete, keep it short and simple and only ask questions which will provide the information you require. Wherever possible you should also call the referee if you want to get a clearer sense of the candidate’s personality, approach to work and interpersonal skills.
You should ask the referee about information on the candidate’s CV and about areas discussed in the interview. Like in the interview, if you keep the reference call casual but businesslike you will get more information. Record the reference’s responses. Don’t forget to open your reference call by explaining the importance of the position you are hiring for and mention that you appreciate their honesty. Don’t forget to thank them for their time and help at the end of the call.
At this point you should have all the information you need to make a final selection decision and move forward to the offer stage.