Hiring great employees can be challenging.

While prospective applicants may have the right skills to on paper to match the job – including education and work history – there are many characteristics beyond what’s outlined on paper that determines if an employee is right for the job. Determining whether an applicant will be the best fit for an open position during the interview process can prove difficult.

During the hiring process, consider that skills alone do not guarantee that you will hire the right candidate. Prospective employees should possess a combination of skills and characteristics which in most care are harder to quantify.  Consider the following during the hiring process.

Clearly define what need you are trying to fill.

While not every employee will possess all the skills that you outline in your job description, you should prioritize those you consider critical to the job. This will help you sort out good candidates from those not appropriate. Requirements may differ from job to job, but should include, at the very least all the skills needed to perform the job.

For some positions this may be limited to on–the–job experience. Other skills include more abstract abilities such as leadership and how well a candidate will perform under stress – the latter of which being much more difficult to quantify.

For more abstract qualifications, the interview process becomes critical. This is where employers should encourage applicants to share real–world scenarios and instances where they were faced with appropriate challenges. While more abstract skills may be challenging to vet on paper per se, employers can gather a better sense of a candidate’s suitability for the job with open–ended questions.

During this time, the candidate’s personality should play a big part in moving to the next steps. Again, they may have the right skills for the job, but if they do not have a personality that allows them to get along with other employees, this can impact their performance, not to mention the performance of the team. To be candid, trust your instincts.

Recruiting is not an exact science can be unpredictable. Some candidates can look perfect on paper and perform spectacularly during the interview, only to completely stumble once they have been on–boarded. This is where the vetting process must be as detailed as possible before spending time, energy and resources to bring on the wrong employees.

In conclusion, along with the sourcing of applicants make sure you have a formal vetting process in place.  In addition, employees should always check prospective employee’s work history and references.

Candidate’s online behavior should also be vetted; this includes all forms of social media.

Take the time to hire wisely.

While the urge may be to bring on candidates very quickly if you are in need to fill open positions, it is prudent to take the appropriate time to interview, assess and properly vet candidates to better ensure that you hire the right employees with the right skills.


Please feel free share this article to those that might benefit. Thank you!

Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm.   In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels.

P: 1(800) 801-1400  or email at ceo@premiersearch.com.