Human Resources

Recruitment Phase

Select your top applicant

At the start of your recruitment, you identified the Top 10 characteristics for this person to be successful. Your Top 10 are crucial at this stage, as you’ll evaluate each candidate’s skills against this list.

The most common mistake at this stage is evaluating candidates based on “fit with Reed” or “fit with the department.” We should avoid evaluating the candidate by how well they established rapport with us. It’s our tendency to like a candidate—or anyone else for that matter—who “gets us.” Unfortunately, focusing on rapport will will lead us in the direction of making a hiring decision based on our similarities with the candidate, rather than who is best candidate for the job. At Reed, we do not evaluate candidates on overall “fit”; we only evaluate on Top 10 characteristics.

It’s imperative to collect feedback immediately after second-round interviews so you can extend a job offer within a week of the interview. You can collect written feedback from each of your interviewers or hold a wrap-up meeting at the end of the interview day or both.

Asking for written feedback will allow your interviewers to have the opportunity to formulate their thoughts carefully. On the other hand, holding a wrap-up meeting at the end of the interview day allows for dialogue about the candidate and allows you to direct your interviewers to focus their feedback on your Top 10. Dialogue is a closely held value at Reed, and, like all dialogue, a wrap-up meeting provides the opportunity to exchange ideas, build off one another’s observations and validate the evidence you collected. HR can help by facilitating your wrap-up meeting.

If you have been successful in your recruitment up to this stage, your final two candidates will both be well qualified, and you’ll have a hard time choosing between them. You’ll want to seek the counsel of your supervisor, your VP, human resources, or other colleagues that you trust. While it’s a big decision, it is one that you need to make quickly, ideally within 48 hours of the interview, so you can begin reference checks and extend a job offer.

The decision about which finalist to hire for a staff position is yours as the hiring manager, even if you have convened a search committee. Like all employment decisions, though, your supervisor needs to be in full agreement.

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