Shopping for the Best Candidate


When did interviewing become so similar to window shopping at the mall?  When you wander through a shopping mall looking, but not necessarily for anything in particular, the window displays can draw your attention and your cash.  Yet interviewing potential candidates should be done with an entirely different perspective or you will land up hiring someone (no pun intended) that doesn’t fit and you end up wanting to return.

I read an article the other day, and sorry I can’t remember where, but the concept stuck about the amount of people applying for the average job opening was in the hundreds.  With unemployment still way to high, both qualified and unqualified people are applying to every opening out there.  This makes the job of recruitment a real chore and it is complicated by job descriptions that only a super hero could accomplish.

I look at training director roles, and as I read the description I am usually feeling confident about the role because I have had a lot of experience in all faucets of training.  Yet many times I will pause and ask myself, “Do they really expect to find someone with all of this talents and years of experience?”  The better question should be do they really need, or just want all of this?

While it is perfectly fine to wander around a shopping mall with no firm idea of what you are seeking, it is not a good idea at all to shop through job applications and resumes and see what is available and pick the shiniest penny.  First off it is too time consuming and people lose interest when they wait 4 weeks to hear back from you.  Second, it is a complete waste of the dollars spent on the recruiter sifting through paper looking to see what is available.  And third, the shiniest penny is often the one that will cost the most to hire.

The time is best spent identifying core needs, and looking at candidates that fit the bill.  All the extras that some candidates bring to the table will either be features you pay more for in your employment offer, or they distract from skills and experience that are missing.  Interview the folks that meet your requirements.  Call back or email candidates that you are interested in, and make quick connections.

This same article said the cycle to hire continues to lengthen and I’ll bet most of it is because the employers don’t have a perfectly clear understanding of their needs.  The quicker we can sort applications, interview and hire people the quicker we can reduce our national unemployment.

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One thought on “Shopping for the Best Candidate

  1. Hello there, simply became aware of your weblog thru Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful for those who continue this in future. Lots of people will likely be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

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