March 9, 2021

Top Five Tips for Hiring the Best

Think about the poor hiring decisions that you’ve made in your career and the repercussions of those decisions. The hours spent trying to help someone fit into a job that isn’t right for them, the difficult task of disciplinary action, the impact of a termination or resignation on the employee and the team.  Given these factors, it’s surprising that more time and effort doesn’t go into refining the hiring process. Here are our top five tips for making that process better:
  1. Think about what it really takes to succeed in the job. The best candidates are not necessarily the best hires. Try to assess results achievement, ability to take risks, assume responsibility, make things happen. Success comes when we hire people who can collaborate, plan, organize and control. Instead we often hire based on interviewing skills: appearance, personality, presentation skills, attitude, energy, geography, compensation level or academic record. 
  2. Be constantly on guard against bias in the interview process.   There are many ways that bias enters a process which often results in quick decisions based on limited data.  We can be biased towards the candidate based on a number of factors, including the order in which they appear in our interview process!  If the first few candidates are particularly weak, those that follow may appear to be more qualified than they actually are.   And most of us are biased towards candidates that are like us.   If you interview someone who went to the same school, lived in the same neighborhood, or whose family vacationed with your family, there may be an instant connection.  It doesn’t mean they can do the job. As Anne-Marie Welch, Member in Clark Hill’s Labor and Employment Practice, points out, “anyone who is a decision maker or part of the hiring process should be trained on how to guard against implicit bias.” She also suggests this is one of the reasons to be sure you have a diverse hiring team. 
  3. Have more than one interviewer and let them make independent decisions about who is best.  Encourage frank and open discussion, especially from lower-level employees. And listen to their feedback, even when it contradicts your own! They will be working directly with the applicants after they are hired and may have a different and valuable set of criteria and perspectiveAsk each interviewer to evaluate independently and then call on the lowest level employee for their opinion first. Most interviewers will defer to the most powerful person in the room before speaking their mind in that meeting held to unpack the results of the interviews.  
  4. Create a set of standardized questions, an interview scorecard and a formal record of the interview. All of these techniques encourage hiring managers to think through what’s most important and compare candidates as objectively as possible. 
  5. If you want to increase the number of women and minorities in your workforce, include more than one minority or female candidate in the pool of candidates. According to one study cited in the Harvard Business Review, when there are two minorities or women in the pool of finalists, a woman or minority stands a much higher chance of getting hired. (Each added woman/minority in the pool does not increase the probability of hiring a woman, however — the difference between having one and two women seems to be what matters.*).

It is worth taking a thoughtful approach to hiring, even when you are in a time crunch. HR/Advantage Advisory professionals can help you meet the challenge by helping you define the position, interview objectively – or simply by adding great candidates to the pool.  

Source: *Harvard Business Review, If There’s Only One Woman in Your Candidate Pool, There’s Statistically No Chance She’ll Be Hired 

The views and opinions expressed in the article represent the view of the author and not necessarily the official view of Clark Hill PLC. Nothing in this article constitutes professional legal advice nor is intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice.

Tea & Tidbits: COVID-19 Vaccine

Please join HR/AA VP Melinda Lapan from HR/Advantage Advisory, Vanessa Kelly from Clark Hill and Alliance Benefit Solutions as they spill the tea on the latest employment issues.  The upcoming half-hour informal session on March 19 will be on the COVID-19 vaccine. Register here:
For more information contact:
+ 1 (888) 979-4457 | |
About HR/Advantage Advisory
HR/Advantage Advisory offers small and mid-size businesses robust outsourced human resource, risk management, and compliance solutions. We are different from other HR service providers because we are backed by a national law firm and staffed by certified HR Professionals. We provide a comprehensive outsourced HR department or customized solutions with an affordable and flexible pricing structure which aligns to the size of your workforce. For more information, please visit