In the perfect world, success is achieved when we hire both the best and the right candidate for a role.

The “best” and “right” candidate can be interchangeable but consider the circumstances that we are consistently under when having to fill a key position in the organization.  Are we willing to accept the “best” candidate due to numerous constraints or are we willing to strive harder and longer for the “right” candidate?  The difference can have significant impact on the organization in terms of operations, revenue, planning, morale and the opportunity cost of having to replace the hired candidate again in three months.

With the mandate of filling a role in very little time, we are forced to potentially compromise on many fronts.

Time:   Do you have enough time to ensure the optimal outcome is achieved? 

  • The most critical aspect is the date when the candidate is mandated to be in role.  Not establishing this up-front will lead to failure…on all fronts!
  • Do you already have an executive search firm on speed dial or do you have to find and brief one?
  • How long have you planned for advertising, application submission, screening, recruitment, interviews, decisions, offers, negotiation, acceptance and start date?

Corporate Alignment:  Is the company aligned on what kind of person they want to fulfill the role?

  • Are management, hiring manager and HR on the same page as to who they want to fill that position?
  • Have you defined who will interview the candidate, with what criteria, in what order and who the final decision maker will be?
  • Is the compensation package relevant?  Is the salary of the past role-holder still competitive or were they severely underpaid or worst overpaid?
  • Do you have (or has your recruitment company provided you with) compensation benchmarks for the role in today’s marketplace and competitive set?

Short versus Long-Term:  Challenge whether you are fulfilling the role for today’s realities or for future opportunities.

  • Have you reviewed the existing role profile to ensure it accurately reflects the duties, responsibilities, accountability, qualifications, experience and day-to-day activities of the position?
  • Will duties and responsibilities change in the future and if so, how will this be reflected in the job profile?  Has this been validated with the decision makers?

The Perfect Candidate:  How long are you willing to take and how much are you willing to spend on finding the “perfect” candidate?

  • What is the companies’ appetite for a candidate that does not satisfy all the criteria?
  • Have you established the “must haves” in the role profile?  Which aspects would you be willing to train on-the-job and which ones are mandatory?
  • How important is strategic fit to your decision making process and how is it weighed against qualifications and experience?
  • Are you willing to accept a “stop-gap” candidate who will probably leave within a year or invest in a long-term colleague?
  • Do you know the current landscape of this role in the marketplace?  Compensation, supply and demand?

If you are not satisfied with your answers or preparedness to these challenges and considerations, you may be subjected to accepting the “best” possible candidate from a shallow pool due to time, corporate coordination and vision.

How can you assure success?

1.     Establish a succession planning process.
2.     Update the roles and responsibilities to the “real world” of your company.
3.     Ensure everyone within management is aligned and on-board with the process and decision making.

Reach out to your recruitment company for assistance and guidance.
5.     Schedule enough time in the process to ensure the “right” candidate can be found