Choosing the Right Candidate


Finding the right candidate for job is never an easy task.  If you hire the wrong person it can be expensive, damaging to your work environment, and very time consuming.  Hiring the correct person on the other hand will enhance your work culture and pay you back in high employee morale.

You’ve pulled together a pool of candidates and are ready to start the hiring process.  How do you know which candidate is the best fit?  The following tips will guide you in how to accurately assess both characteristics and qualifications throughout the hiring process.

Define the Position.
Before interviewing any of the candidates, do a job analysis on the position you’re hiring for.  Compile information about the duties, responsibilities and necessary skills. The better grasp you have on the skills and qualifications needed in the position, the easier it will be to find the right candidate. You’re less likely to hire a bad employee when you know what you’re looking for.

Form a Checklist and Distribute to the Selection Team.
After compiling the information and deciding the qualifications you’re looking for, put the information into a checklist.  This checklist will be handy to have with you while conducting interviews.  It’ll keep the traits you’re looking for top of mind, and you’ll be able to jot down notes and compare the potential hires.  Distribute the checklist to all managers conducting the interviews. Doing so will ensure that everyone knows the type of candidate to look for.

Review Credentials and Applications.
Even though you are extremely busy and have other work to do, spend a good amount of time reviewing resumes and cover letters.  Screen all candidates against the list of qualifications, skills, and experience you requested in the job description.  Verify educational history and technical certifications listed.  Employers are often shocked to find many applicants stretch the truth on resumes and don’t have the credentials they claim.  It’s better to find these things out early on in the hiring process before managers have become attached to a certain candidate.  Don’t waste time interviewing an employee that’s already lying to you.

Using a quick telephone interview to prescreen candidates is very important.  Not only will it save the selection committee time, it’ll give you the chance to make sure the candidate is as good as they look on paper.  You’ll get a glimpse of the type of communicator they are and can determine whether their salary expectations match what you can offer.  If the applicant has only been at past positions for short periods, use this time to find out why.  You want to hire an employee that is going to be loyal and still be at the company 6 months from now.

Ask the Right Interview Questions.
Start with asking general questions to get the interviewee relaxed.  Once the candidate is comfortable, ask questions about past job experiences and how they handled challenging situations.  Learning about how the candidate has worked in the past will give you good insight into how they’d perform in your role. Observe whether their personality traits would fit your company culture.

Make the Final Decision.
After you’ve interviewed all potential hires for the position, call the selection team together.  Assess how each candidate rated on the skills and qualifications checklist. If there are two candidates that you’re having trouble choosing between, ask the following two questions to determine your decision:

  • Which candidate has the most upside potential?
  • Which candidate will add the most value to your workplace?

The candidate you hire should be the one that’s able to commit to learning and developing skills and progressing in the workplace.  It’s important to remember that you’re not just making a job offer for an open position.  You are asking someone to join and grow with your company.

In order to choose the right job candidate, you have to have a strong hiring process.  If you need help implementing a thorough selection process or don’t have the resources needed, RealStreet Staffing is here to help.  Our specialized team of recruiters will find and screen the best professionals in the engineering and construction industry to fill your needs.   Contact Us today to see how we can help.

A career in construction administration and management can be (and for me has been) one of constant transition. It’s rather common that employment with a given company starts and finishes with each successive project; you’re a new hire as it’s just getting “out of the ground,” then finished and looking for a new project (and Read More…

Greg Wangler, Pentagon Construction Management Division

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