Solutions for Candidate Selection: A Lesson for Employers

As executive recruiters we are frequently tasked with facilitating the hiring process for employers. Making the right hiring decisions is critical for employers, especially with respect to senior-level positions. Of course, in practice, it is impossible to guarantee that the right decision is made 100% of the time, but following some simple guidelines can help increase this probability. The Abacus Group has compiled a list of mistakes made by employers during the applicant selection process and corresponding corrective actions.

Mistake: During the interview, the employer bombards the interviewee with questions, thereby preventing the interviewee from properly evaluating the organization and job opportunity.

Resolution: Treat the interview as a two-way street; recognize that the candidate, too, is trying to assess whether there is an appropriate match.

Mistake: Job duties may seem monotonous or unappealing, so the employer understates the significance of such tasks, while emphasizing more interesting duties.

Resolution: Be honest about responsibilities and expectations. Let the applicant know exactly what she or she will need to do in order to be successful in the role.

Mistake: The employer assesses candidates based on standards set by an employee who previously held the open position.

Resolution: Acknowledge the fact that, in cases of replacement, the new employee will never perfectly mirror his or her predecessor.

Mistake: Interview performance and past experience are the only criteria used to evaluate the candidate’s potential to succeed in the role.

Resolution: A candidate’s personality and cultural fit within the organization must also be considered. “Cultural fit” refers to the synergy between the candidate and the organization, including understanding of and agreement with the organization’s mission, comfort in the physical work environment and adaptability of the candidate’s managerial style.

Mistake: The employer rushes the process by hiring the first candidate who seems to be a fit for position.

Resolution: Exercising patience is of utmost importance. While there may be a sense of urgency in filling a position, the employer should be aware that hiring the wrong individual could be more costly than waiting a bit longer to make the right decision.

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