Decision making in HR and recruitment – how to hire the right candidate

Written by
Changeboard team

01 Aug 2019

01 Aug 2019 • by Changeboard team

Decision making is a key aspect of recruitment - You can’t leave hiring the ideal candidate down to chance. Recruitment software and veteran experience can help, but decision making is a skill you can develop over time.

First decision – know exactly what you want before you advertise a vacancy

Hiring the wrong candidate can be an expensive error, as any recruiter knows. Ensure the right stakeholders and decision makers are involved in building up a profile of the ideal candidate, and that you have a clear picture of what the role involves.

Once you’re clear on the role to be offered, you’re in a better place to make an initial decision on the kind of candidate you’ll be looking for.

From this initial preparation, shape the job description so that applicants will be as clear on the job requirements as you are. This will help to increase relevant applications.

Second decision – decide where to advertise

Deciding where to advertise can be an activity where you stick to the status quo, using tried and tested routes that past experience (and supporting data) tell you will bring in a suitable number of relevant candidates.

On occasion, you may need to engage your critical thinking skills in order to reach a different kind of candidate. Perhaps you’re aiming to draw a greater diversity of applicants to the role, or you’re actively seeking young talent.

Examples of key areas for placing job ads might include:

  • Changeboard jobs board (perfect for hiring senior leaders and HR professionals of all levels)
  • Jobs boards in general (applicant tracking systems can help you manage your postings and evaluate performance data)
  • Social media (some candidates might be best sourced on LinkedIn, whereas others might be more easily located via Twitter)
  • Employee referral programme (these can have a strong applicant-to-hire ratio, and when a friend of a friend is hired, they are more likely to have built-in loyalty and a desire to settle into the organisational culture)

Third decision – select the right hiring team for the job

Hiring in a team means that the final candidate is more likely to be better for the organisation as a whole. It also means that hiring decisions are less likely to be subjective. When several people are directly involved in a hiring decision, intuition and ‘gut instinct’ can be talked through as a group and, where necessary, challenged. Hiring in a team is more conducive to a decision based on logic and critical thinking.

Who might you want on the hiring team?

  • HR professional
  • Supervisor of the position being filled
  • Someone with a deep understanding of the role
  • Someone who a candidate might be able to relate to, so that they can interview at their best (remember, the candidate is also interviewing the company. A diverse hiring team is more likely to help diverse candidates feel meaningfully supported).

Fourth decision – apply critical thinking to a structured interview

When interviewing a candidate and consider their suitability for the role post-interview, use critical thinking to assess the candidate. A sales manager or HR manager might be expected to perform well in a social interview environment where face-to-face persuasion is key. However, an HR analyst or an inexperienced graduate may not have the same level of interview confidence. Aim to consider a candidate’s merits from an objective point of view in order to determine which candidate is the best fit for the company.

This means:

  • Challenge assumptions – including yours
  • Be open to an alternative that goes beyond the status quo
  • Foster open discussion (a hiring team enables you to do this post-interview)

Fifth decision – you’ve hired the candidate! Now’s the perfect time to reflect on future improvements in the hiring process.

If you want to consistently hire the best candidate for the job, candidates aren’t the only thing you should focus your attention on. The recruitment process can benefit from regular tweaks and adjustment to help it evolve in an ever-changing employment landscape.

  • Do your interview techniques adequately surface a candidate’s experience, qualifications, skillset, integrity, resilience, teamwork, problem solving, self-management, critical thinking, and communication capabilities?
  • Are your hiring decisions sufficiently ethical?
  • Does your job description messaging need updating to engage candidates with different values, backgrounds or career motivations?
  • Are you spending the right money in the right places to get maximum relevant applications for your budget?

These are just some of the questions you can ask in order to make informed, logical decisions on improving the hiring process over time.

Hiring the best candidates is a time-consuming and often highly complex endeavour. Decision making in HR and recruitment often depends on using logic instead of intuition, researching the field as much as possible, and the three Ps… preparation, preparation, preparation.