6 Tips for Making the Best Hiring Decisions

getting hired

Hiring is stressful.  Trying to make the best hiring decisions can leave you worried about finding the right fit for your open position.

You are not alone! More than half of Millenial and Gen Z hiring managers say that hiring the right person for their organization is stressful. Finding the right person with the right fit is essential. Hiring the wrong person creates nightmares for you, for them and for your whole team.

Define the Role

Hiring without a role profile is like trying to visit someone without knowing their address. How will you ever find the right person? Make sure the role profile is specific enough without being too detailed. Think about the 3 or four most important skills or attributes, and the 3 or 4 most important responsibilities, and describe them in less than one page.

Don’t let the computer screen out good candidates with unexpected profiles. Choose keywords specific to the role without being too restrictive. Don’t specify years of experience required. You are better off choosing from a broad range of potential candidates.

Cast a Wide Net for Candidates

A wide candidate pool helps you find the absolute best fit.

Use traditional routes like LinkedIn, recruiters, and the company website. Use your network, and the networks of everyone in your company. Tell colleagues what you are looking for. Offer a hiring bonus to the person who sends you a successful candidate.

Local employment offices, temp agencies and community groups all have potential candidates. Tell anyone you meet that you are hiring. You never know where the right candidate will come from.

Overcome Unconscious Bias

Unconscious biases are stereotypes or beliefs about particular groups or people, of which we are not completely aware. We all have them. Know your biases, and follow some simple steps to counteract them.

Insist on a diverse candidate pool, including non-traditional candidates. Tell Human Resources or the recruiter to look again if your candidate pool is too uniform. Use a diverse interview team, with people from different backgrounds and career stages, as well as from different departments. Create a standard minimum list of questions to ask every candidate. If your company has specific diversity goals, know what they are. If not, develop your own.

Flexible Hiring

Consider non-traditional candidates; someone with less experience in the exact role can bring very relevant skills from other roles, plus a new perspective. Know what you will trade off. Are communication skills more important than analytical ability? How much time does the job genuinely require? A superior candidate working 80% outperforms an average one working 100%. Accept remote working; it’s today’s reality. That’s one positive lesson from the coronavirus outbreak!

If you struggle to find the right person, a long-term gig from a freelancer might work. Check out sites like Upwork for experienced freelancers who work on a project or time-bound basis.

Use All Available Hiring Resources

An effective Human Resources Business Partner shares ideas and strong connections. Ask yours for help. If you don’t have someone like this, seek out help from other people in your company, whether someone else in Human Resources or an experienced hiring manager. Use an external recruiter.

In the Interview

Prepare your interview team before the candidates come in. Review the role profile, the skills you need and the culture you want to build or maintain. Make sure they know that you want honest opinions and open minds. Talk with them about unconscious bias.

In the interview itself, remember that the candidate is interviewing you and your company, as much as you are interviewing them. Be honest about what you need, what your style is, how your team works together, what the day is like, where you can flex and not. Don’t lie or dodge questions; truth is critical for finding a good fit.

Hire and Move Forward

Hiring is important and intense; it doesn’t have to be terrifying. Follow these common-sense tips and you will find the right person, with the right skills & the right attitude.  Give them a proper welcome and onboarding, and reap the rewards of your good decision.


Marne Platt

Dr. Marne Platt is the President of Fundamental Capabilities and the author of 3 books (so far): Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way; Professional Presence; and PREP For Success. Originally a practicing veterinarian, she built a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. She founded Fundamental Capabilities to ‘pay it forward’ by providing career development workshops and coaching for women. ‘Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way’ is an ‘older sister in your pocket’ packed full of advice for young women on building their own independent and exciting life. 'Professional Presence' and PREP For Success' help you strengthen your spoken and unspoken communication and leadership presence.

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