Best Qualified/Best Match
What is a "best hire?" Many would say it is the selection of the best qualified and best matched applicant to the job requirements and work environment. This pamphlet is designed to help hiring managers find and recognize these high impact players.
A "best hire" is achieved through both objective and subjective criteria. Sometimes a "dream" candidate appears on the scene at the right moment in time. But more likely, a "best hire" is the result of a superior hiring strategy executed through an effective hiring and selection process.
New Opportunities for Improvement
Every job opening is a chance to welcome talented new employees who can improve Brigham Young University by adding new skills, new approaches and new talent. Hiring managers have a responsibility to hire the candidate who will best meet the current and future needs of both the department and the university. Because many of the departments in the university see little turnover in key positions, each hire becomes even more critical. Every open position is an opportunity for change, new vision, and/or improvement.
Each hiring decision can have long-term consequences. A good time to review job functions and requirements is before filling a vacant position. Review university and department mission statements and consider how this position can help accomplish these goals:
- The basics:
- What qualifications would the ideal candidate possess?
- What are the essential skills, experience, education needs, and certifications?
- What factors have been the most important in the past for good performance?
- What will this person need to accomplish in the first six months?
- Up a Notch:
- What would great performance in this position be like?
- What are the "preferred" skills or talents that would make great performance possible?
- In Interviews:
- What key job-related information do you want to know about the candidate?
- What are key showstoppers that would greatly impact performance or team unity?
- What key things should be identified in interviews: verbal, non-verbal; past, future; task, relationships; detail, creativity; etc.?
Planning for the Best
A little planning can save a great deal of headache when employees decide to leave. Look at gaps between current talent and future required skills.
- Who will need to be replaced due to retirement, graduation, transfer, etc.?
- Does the position really need to be filled? Can the work be redistributed or even eliminated, perhaps with a change in working conditions?
How to Find the Best
Look outside the department:
Hiring outside the department can provide superior talent and new ideas, pushing everyone to a new level of performance. Generally, outside candidates should be 20% more qualified than internal candidates to justify the added time, energy, and resources that go into the additional training.
- Keep an open mind. Don't reject the idea of hiring from outside because of a good internal candidate.
- Use strong internal employees as benchmarks.
- Look for someone who has a fresh point of view and can contribute new ideas or skills.
- Remember that the ideal candidate may be happily employed elsewhere.
Look inside the department:
Sometimes the best person for a position is already working in the department. Internal candidates are already familiar with policies and procedures and have a working relationship with managers and other employees.
- Look at all necessary skills, not just competency in current job functions. Especially important are required leadership and people skills.
- Remember that having an employee who is popular and gets along well with others won't compensate for inadequate skills and inexperience.
- Consider that there may be candidates outside the organization who may have better skills or experience than any internal candidate.
Best Fit/Best Match
The right choice:
Has the needed skills to do the job and is immediately more productive than someone who does not meet the job requirements.
- Needs less supervision.
- Improves morale.
- Is satisfied with the new job and is eager to learn and to make a contribution.
- Comes to work on time and ready to work hard.
- Contributes to growth and improvement beyond what it takes to "just get by".
Was the last hire an eagle?
Eagles are employees who soar in new jobs taking the entire department to higher levels. Average hires take up time, energy, and can even waste valuable resources. Some of these average hires can look like eagles during interviews, while some true eagles don't appear to soar during the interview process. Find true eagles by looking in the right places and doing necessary homework: check references and contact past employers, conduct good interviews, etc. For more information on interviewing and reference checks, please refer to the Hiring Tips & Guidelines.
"Don't hire just because you have an open position. Wait for the 'great hire'."
"It all starts with a 'great hire'. It all ends with a 'medium hire'."
"People are not your most important asset. The right people are."