How to Hire for the Right Candidate

When your company has a position that is open, hiring managers often determine the “must haves” and the “nice to haves” for their respective position. Sometimes, hiring managers will utilize this as a guideline for hiring; other times, the “nice to haves” are a mere mirage and hiring managers will stick to their guns until they have the absolute best candidate that meets all of the requirements.

Somewhere in between lies a more realistic expectation to hiring; you never want to settle on a candidate, however, compromises are (usually) agreed upon so that way, the role can be filled with a competent candidate in a timely manner.

While finding candidates with all of the boxes checked would be great, and although filling a role yesterday (…) would be nice, there’s a fine balance that has to be struck. In addition, there are many factors outside of the job requirements that the right candidate should meet. Whether you’re talking to a candidate over the phone or they’re going to meet with a panel of people for a face to face interview, here are some factors to look at: [optinlocker]

  • How well does the candidate communicate with different members of the team? This one seems obvious; if you can’t communicate with people who you’d be working with in a daily basis, then the candidate is not the best fit for the available role.
  • How well can a candidate think on their feet? Often a guideline on how to do your job is ambiguous, so it’s important to figure out what to do and quickly.
  • A candidate’s plan of action For the “now” and for the “future”; where does a candidate see themselves with your company? Within their career? It’s important to be proactive in reaching your goals and to envision what success looks like.
  • Can the candidate perform the tasks at hand on a daily basis? Interview processes can struggle at times because they fail to predict how well a candidate can perform the work. This is a common area of issue when hiring, and admittedly it’s difficult to replicate real life work in an interview (the exception being a job that requires physical activity for example). Coding tests for developers are a good way to predict success in a role, but what if there was something like that for all positions? Companies need to figure what way to predict future success in a relatable, yet convenient way; these tasks aren’t 100% full proof, but they’re better than “going with your gut”.
  • Can the company envision a career path or a path to success for this candidate? This may seem “new age-ish” or “millennial” but having a clear cut path of success for a potential employee of your company is crucial. Want to avoid turnover? Want to reduce the cost of vacancies or just the general number of vacancies? It starts here.


Note, I didn’t mention one thing about how well a candidate should fit into a company culture. Although there are certain factors that make a candidate a better fit for one company as supposed to another, workplaces thrive on variety and diversity (both literally and figuratively). A mixture of backgrounds and ideas serves a company well in creating ideas and solving problems through different lenses.

All of these factors will help you find the right candidates as supposed to ones that look best on paper.

By Joe Griesbach | People Science Sr Talent Advisor



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