The Importance of a Pre-hire Discussion
Hiring senior level executives can be a difficult and labor-intensive undertaking. However, there are some actions you can take to guide you in the decision-making process. One course of action is to conduct a pre-hire assessment and another is to have a pre-hire discussion.
How can hiring executives determine a candidate’s strengths and potential growth opportunities? How can they come to an informed and sound decision about a candidate if all the interviewers don’t sit down together and discuss the interviews? A meeting or conference call of all the interviewers to discuss the candidates can help hiring executives make a more confident decision about who to hire—and this pre-hire discussion can be divided into two different but equally important parts.
The first component of a pre-hire discussion should define the core competencies that the position requires. Does the candidate need to be a critical thinker? Does he or she need to be a clear communicator? Whatever the competencies are, they need to be defined in order to accurately and clearly measure all the candidates and allow interviewers to discuss how each candidate ranks and, ultimately, define which one is the strongest.
The second component of a pre-hire discussion should revolve around the pre-hire assessment report. It’s important to talk to the assessor who performed the assessment to ensure that the report’s findings are accurately understood and to get an explanation of anything that’s unclear. The independent assessor provides an unbiased view of the candidates and the report, which is designed as a supplement to other hiring criteria, is extremely valuable.
A critical factor in discussing the pre-hire assessment report is to determine how a candidate might react or respond to different scenarios. For example, if they were in charge of growing the profit margin of a particular division, but were not succeeding—how would they react? What would they do if the margin started getting smaller? Would they be aggressive? Would they defend it? Would they come up with creative solutions? Or would they tighten up or take more risk? How would they respond? Employing this type of exercise is not only important but highly effective, so that the right candidate is put into the right position, and it provides a better understanding of how the candidate will react in different situations.
The next time you are hiring a senior level executive, be sure to make a pre-hire discussion an integral part of the hiring process—and, be sure to discuss the core competencies that the position requires and fully understand the findings of the pre-assessment report.
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