Making the Hiring decision

It’s important to decide how you feel about a candidate immediately after the interview. Speed is crucial because details and hiring decision accuracy get lost as time goes by.

Think about what went well, what went less well and if there are any questions that were left unanswered. You should aim to have strong beliefs, lightly held at this stage. Your opinion may change when you hear about other interviews, but be certain on how yours went.

When you’re handing over between interviewers, try your best not to prejudice the next interviewer.

You should instead let the next interviewer know what you discussed and if there’s a particular area you’d like them to question further.

Once all the interviews are over, get the interviewers together for a verbal debrief.  Everyone should have the opportunity to express their support and concerns, and then the team weighs these to reach consensus. Compile and keep the highlights/lowlights of the feedback.

Ideally, written feedback should also be provided from each interviewer (via email, ATS or task tool) for legacy purposes. Candidates may apply again, so you’ll need to know what previously happened, or you may need to re-calibrate on a role using past interviews.

Feedback should be weighted accordingly and the hiring manager should take a view on how to proceed. In a very small team you might like to give everyone the power of veto. As your team grows you may outgrow this process. Remember the difference between being committed versus being involved. Those that will manage or work directly with a candidate should have the greater say on a hire.

Organisational hierarchy should not play a part in the decision making process.

The CEO should not have the right to overrule the findings of the interview debrief. You should trust that the interviewers have done the best job he or she could, given what was known at the time, his or her skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

Encourage your interviewers to trust their instincts. If in doubt, you should probably pass. Try to make a decision within 24-48 hours.

Don’t become a ‘black hole’

Communicate as soon as possible to show that you care and take hiring seriously. It also ensures that you don’t miss out on hiring someone because you moved too slowly.

Make sure you tell the candidate to keep you informed of their options/timeline so you can expedite as necessary. Keep checking this when you speak to the candidate. It is very rare that a candidate will have only one option.

Be sure to check in with active candidates every few days even if you don’t have a decision yet. Once candidates have gotten far enough in the process to meet the team, verbal rejections are best.