Build great Teams – People management

How To Decide Who To Hire?

How To Decide Who To Hire?

Once you’ve been through your recruitment process and have interviewed several candidates, how do you decide who to hire? Maybe you asked about four attributes and the candidates you interviewed have different strengths in the four areas. How do you decide who is best overall? How do you make sure you’re fair and objective?

Fair And Objective

You must be fair and objective in your evaluation based solely on what you learned during the interview. Review your notes on each candidate. If you use the same questions for each candidate, and question in depth, comparing answers for each attribute should be straightforward. Look at the first attribute and compare how each person responded. Objectively assign a rating to each person for that attribute. Look at each attribute in turn until you have reviewed all the attributes you interviewed for.

An Example

Let’s run through an example where we rate each candidate (Caroline, Paul and Olga) out of five for each attribute. The attributes are team-work, proactivity, and ability to use Microsoft office software.

We thought Caroline demonstrated really well how she can work in a team. We’ve assigned her a rating of five out of five. Paul and Olga did not convince us so strongly, but they have clearly worked in teams before. We assign them each three out of five. For the next attribute – proactivity – Paul’s responses suggested he is able to work more proactively than Caroline or Olga. We therefore assign Paul a four, Caroline a two and Olga a one. The final attribute we asked about was their ability to use Microsoft Office software. Olga demonstrated she can use all Microsoft Office software to a high level. Paul and Caroline have used Word and Excel, but are clearly not as proficient as Olga. We assign Olga five out of five, and Paul and Caroline two out of five each.

Now we have objectively looked at each attribute. We next add up each candidate’s score to get an overall rating for each of them. Paul gets an overall score of nine (three plus four plus two). Caroline also gets an overall score of nine (but for Caroline it was made up of five plus two plus two). Finally Olga also scores nine overall (but for Olga it was made up of three plus one plus five). Who do we pick?

Apply Weighting

Some behaviours are more trainable than others. A technical competency, such as using Microsoft Office software, can typically be learned. Attributes such as proactivity and natural ability to work well in a team are difficult to train. If some attributes you interviewed for are more important than others, you can also apply a weighting to each attribute.

Decide Using A Weighted Example

For our example, let’s assume the most important attribute for this role in your company is team-work. Proactivity is less important. We can train people to use Microsoft Office software to the level we require. Let’s assign a weighting out of three. We give team-work a weighting of three, proactivity a weighting of two, and software ability a weighting of one.

Now, for each candidate, multiply the attribute’s weight by the candidate’s score for that attribute. This gives us a ‘weighted score’ for the candidate for each attribute. For team-work (weighting of three), Caroline scored five, giving her a weighted score of fifteen (five multiplied by the weighting of three). Paul and Olga scored three each, giving them both weighted score of nine. For proactivity (weighting of two), Paul scored four, giving him a weighted score of eight (four multiplied by the weighting of two). Caroline scored two, giving her a weighted score of four. Olga scored one, giving her a weighted score of two. For the final attribute – ability to use Microsoft Office software (weighting of one), Olga scored five, giving her a weighted score of five (five multiplied by the weighting of one). Caroline and Paul each scored two, giving them each a weighted score of two.

Now add up each person’s weighted score to get an overall weighted rating for each person. Paul gets an overall score of 19 (nine plus eight plus two). Caroline gets an overall score of 21 (fifteen plus four plus two). Olga scores 16 overall (nine plus two plus five). Now who do we pick? Now it looks like Caroline would be the best fit for this job out of the three candidates. A numerical score can’t tell you who to hire, but it can help you be more objective.

My Question To You

When you recruit, how do you decide which candidate to pick? Are you able to do it objectively, or do you go on the person you got on with best or your gut feel? If this is something you would like to discuss or would like some help with, contact me at You can also buy my book Accelerate to Team Success which is available as a paperback or on Kindle.


About the Author:

Nikki Faulkner photo Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.

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