April 12, 2024

The Candidate Selection Process: Criteria for Quality Hires

Establishing clear criteria for hiring employees is essential for finding top talent and building a successful team of engaged team members. Our favorite interview process tip has proven to increase the quality of hire!

Our entire interview consists of evaluation points that measure to a score. In our last blog, we talked about the criteria we use to evaluate candidates before their interview. We would like to take a minute to highlight how we measure a candidate’s viability across several industries and skill sets. By applying evaluation criteria to how a candidate handles the interview process, we see glaring differences in candidate responsiveness and thoroughness, which, when used as decision criteria, have nearly always translated into stronger quality of hires.

Understanding Our Evaluation Criteria

We rate candidates using 15 different categories throughout the interview process. Here are some examples of those criteria:

  • Promptness of replies: How quickly does the candidate respond to communications?
  • Following instructions: Does the candidate carefully follow directions throughout the process?
  • Written communication skills: Are emails and other submissions clear, professional, and free of errors?
  • Verbal communication skills: Does the candidate speak clearly, listen actively, and engage thoughtfully in conversation?
  • Technical skills: Does the candidate demonstrate the required hard skills for the role?
  • Preparedness: Has the candidate researched the company and the position?
  • Problem-solving: Can the candidate analyze information and suggest solutions?
  • Adaptability: Does the candidate show a willingness to learn, adjust to new situations, and demonstrate the ability to be a positive team player?

Does the candidate’s skills, experience, and attitude suggest strong job performance potential? By measuring thoroughness, promptness and quality of how candidates proceed through the process, quality and interested candidates emerge. The actual interviews can then be capitalized to ensure fit.

The Candidate’s Perspective

While our process requires effort from candidates, it’s designed to be a two-way street. It helps talented job applicants assess whether the company and the specific role are truly a good match for their skills and ambitions, making them a strong candidate for the position. By investing this time upfront, they gain a deeper understanding of the expectations and culture, empowering them to make an informed decision about their future with the company and contribute to a confident hiring decision.

The Power of the “Perfect Fit” Email

Speaking of the perfect fit..we suggest that 100% of your finalist candidates should send their hiring manager an email outlining why they’re a good fit for the role. We can spend more time learning about the candidate and how their experience aligns with your set of challenges, knowing that they have been thoroughly vetted for interest and basic qualifications.

It’s a simple task that tells so much. Trust us, from our experience, the quality of the work product becomes very clear through this exercise. It helps to measure a candidate’s comprehension of the company’s mission, culture and expectations. It also does a lot to evaluate a candidate’s interest in joining your team.

Good Qualities in a Job Candidate: What We Look For

We look for candidates who:

  • Demonstrate in-depth research: Have they gone beyond the job description to understand the company’s mission and values?
  • Connect past accomplishments: Do they cite specific examples of how their past successes align with the job requirements of this job role? Do they highlight team wins and how they contributed to group success?
  • Convey genuine enthusiasm: Does their email express a real passion for the company and the opportunity?

Conversely, red flags in these emails might include generic content, a focus solely on what the company can offer them, or a lack of attention to detail.

This exercise helps us further evaluate written communication and gauge interest levels. We can spend more time learning about how a candidate’s experience aligns with any challenges, knowing they’ve been thoroughly vetted for basic qualifications.

The Results Speak for Themselves

Since implementing this selection process, we’ve witnessed remarkable enhancements in the quality of our hires. One key indicator of this long-term success is the increased ratio of our team members who have been promoted in the last year. Here’s a deeper look at these notable results:

  • Enhanced Hire Quality: Emphasizing diligence and meticulousness enables organizations to pinpoint potential hires outfitted with the appropriate competencies, mindset, and dedication crucial for long-lasting achievements.
  • Lowered Employee Turnover: Employing personnel that harmonize excellently with the business ethos and designated role results in augmented staff retention, which saves substantial expenses related to employment and integration of new staff.
  • Elevated Team Output: Teams made up of highly qualified and driven members who are in sync with the organization’s objectives yield increased levels of productivity and efficiency.

A Real-World Example

Recently, two finalists seemed equally qualified on paper. However, one candidate’s “perfect fit” email was notably more detailed and enthusiastic. Further along in the process, it became evident that this was reflective of their work ethic overall, and they have since become a top performer on their team.

Addressing Challenges

Some may be concerned that this process adds extra steps to the hiring process and may slow down hiring. We acknowledge the initial time commitment, but the long-term benefits significantly outweigh any short-term delays. Stronger hires reduce turnover, improve team performance, boost morale, and ultimately save time and resources in the long run. Investing in a thorough selection process ensures we find people who will thrive within the company, which pays continuous dividends over time.

Investing in a Winning Process

At Emerge, we firmly believe that an extensive candidate review process is not just beneficial in recruiting extraordinary personnel; it’s an integral component of our company’s triumphant blueprint for success. If revamping your talent acquisition strategy and refining your employee hiring criteria are on your agenda, we’re open for discussion. Reach out to us to discover how we could assist in adapting a parallel selection procedure designed exclusively for your unique requirements.



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