Hiring Smart in a Crowded Talent Pool

The economy’s recent uptick is sitting squarely on your back. The reduction in unemployment and the creation of new jobs is attributed to hiring by small to mid-size businesses.

Proceed with caution. With the current unemployment rate, you can afford to be selective. Hiring decisions made by small to mid-sized companies can be particularly tricky at this point in time. They are susceptible to hasty, biased judgments that result in costly mistakes. As the decision maker, you may have more job responsibilities than ever and less sophisticated tools at your disposal. There is tremendous pressure because a vacancy in a small company leaves a bigger hole to fill. The temptation exists to go with a “friend of a friend” or perhaps one of the first applicants you encounter. The result is a shortened, less thorough interviewing process resulting in a poor hire.

Another danger is that, in this market, you can bet you will be dealing with some experienced talent. They will have been around the “interview block” a time or two and know what you want to hear. They may be desperate for the position, which decreases the honesty factor and increases the likelihood of hiring someone who is not truly aligned with your company’s goals. Usually only a highly trained and experienced interviewer can determine if the candidate is the right fit for the job and has the potential to succeed.

Assessment tools can take some of the guess work out of the hiring process. Make sure you have identified the traits that are necessary for success and then test to see if the candidate has them. An external, objective opinion definitely increases the chance of hiring a candidate with good job fit!

Have you ever been “fooled” by a candidate? Share your story with us so we all can learn how to improve our selection process.