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Hire the Best Person for the Job

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Hire the Best Person for the Job

By Michelle Yozzo Drake

I think it's safe to say that in our jobs, most of us want to work with the best. They make it easier to get the job done and done right - and hey, it helps that they make us look good, too. When you're a manager, the burden of finding and hiring the "cream of the crop" is on YOU. Add in the red tape and legal issues surrounding the process and hiring a new employee can become a major headache.

Just ask Gary of St. James, Long Island:


I'm a manager in a large corporation and I have an opening in my department that I need to interview for. Now, I have a candidate that I think would be great internally in my department that I'd like to promote, but the company policy dictates that I open up the position and that I take interviews and go through this process.

There's someone who's posted for the position who is in the interview process now. I have three applicants total: the one that I think should be promoted, one that used to work for me a couple of years ago (who had a really hard time getting his work done...very likeable guy, but just didn't deliver), and this third person from the outside who's got pretty good credentials but not a lot of experience, specifically in my industry.

Right now, the climate at work is one that's kind of fearful of law suits and legal action regarding the interview process, and so I'm a little bit nervous. I really would like to promote this guy from within, but since I have to follow this process, I feel like I'm losing control.

Is there any way that I can make sure that I get the guy selected that I want?

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Well, Gary, I think the first thing that needs to be said is, if you act ethically, then there should not be any problem with a law suit. Even if a law suit is brought up, you'll be able to counter it easily if you haven't done anything wrong.

So what are some of the ways that you can create an environment that's proper and legal and still feel some assurance that you're going to have the best qualified person get this position? Well, one of the things that you can do is create a panel of interviewers instead of you doing the interviewing alone - which would put the responsibility and the potential legal action all in your court. If you put together a panel of people, people who have vested interest in the work actually getting done, then the responsibility is shared. Possible choices for panel members should include someone on the team that this position is going to work with. They're going to have a vested interest in making sure that they hire someone competent because if they don't, it's going to make their job a lot harder.

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You also want to make sure that you have someone from Human Resources there so that you can have that "legal monitor" of the process and assurance that you're using the correct process and that the questions you're asking are on the up-and-up.

I would also suggest that for your internal candidates, you refrain from any communication with them during the interview process. In some instances, it may be viewed as partiality if you're speaking to one and not the other. Put it right out there: you're going to limit your interaction with internal candidates to strictly business projects until the interview process if finished. This way, you can be sure that there is no cause and no justification in any accusation of favoritism.

I hope this information helps and that some of these tips will make it easier for you to make the best choice for your position.

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�Strong reasons make strong actions.� � William Shakespeare