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Are you Hiring the Best Candidate?

May 15th, 2015

When you choose top candidates for your open positions, do you make your decision based credentials or future growth? Are you choosing new hires who have the skills and competence to step into your open positions and pick up the reins, or are you looking further into the future and choosing the kinds of employees who will help you reach your goals after a long — and possibly ongoing — training period? Here are a few things to consider as you shape your staffing program.

Hiring the “Perfect Right Now” Candidate

Sometimes, the wisest hiring strategy is too look no further than the end of the year, or even the month. If you have an open chair and you need someone to occupy that chair and start contributing immediately, you’ll need a candidate who’s already done this exact type of work before, and has hopefully developed a track record of success. You’ll need someone who requires no training and no investment on your part, a candidate who already fits the mold and requires no upfront launch period in which she costs more than she contributes.

But before you set your sights on this candidate, keep two things in mind: First, when you find her, expect her to be expensive. Hiring a candidate like this is like buying a beautiful model house with all the furnishings; you’ll be making your bid at the absolute top of the market. But since she’s already generating revenue on day one, you don’t have to hold onto her for more than a year or two to gain returns on your investment. She may not stay—especially if you can’t afford to keep her happy—but when she leaves, your bottom line won’t suffer as much.

Hiring the “High Potential” Candidate

As an alternative, consider hiring a candidate who seems slightly underqualified, but who makes up for this lack with ambition, intelligence, and interest in future growth. The high potential candidate may not have the degree credentials you ask for, and she may not have experience that aligns perfectly with the needs of your open position. But if you hire her, you’ll be able to do so at a discount. And once she’s on board, you can invest in her training, exposure, and formal education. In a few years, her salary will have gone up by only a small percentage of the base. But her skills and contributions will have increased immeasurably.

Before you hire this candidate, keep a few things in mind. First, your decision won’t start paying off for quite some time, so you’ll need to concentrate on retention. If your new hires keep leaving within a few months, you’ll never reap the benefits of your choice. And second, you’ll have to use the interview process to make sure that her long term plans align with yours. Ask as many questions as you answer, and draw a detailed picture of how you see this relationship developing over time. For more on how to make the right decision, reach out to the Staffing Experts in Fairfield County at Merritt.


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