One of a manager’s most important tasks is hiring the right staff. I’ve witnessed many hiring managers looking for candidates in the wrong places. As the song says, they’re “looking for love in all the wrong places”!

It’s popular to think that the “best candidate” is the best hire, but this couldn’t be more wrong! Often candidates are schooled and well-rehearsed in how to answer your questions. Hiring the candidate with the slickest answers often turns out to be hiring the wrong team member.

To avoid this dilemma, learn how to interview well and not be bamboozled by the studied answers. Learn to dig deeper to get a clear picture of the experience and skills a candidate is offering.

Another thing that hiring managers tend to do is focus exclusively on the here and now, omitting skills that will contribute to longer-term strategy and plans. While you might get an employee who can contribute for the short-term, a longer term contribution is worth considering too.

Think about how this candidate will fit in with your current team. Does the candidate’s experience align with what is really needed by the team?

One big factor that trips up hiring managers is the inclination to hire externally rather than conducting an internal search. Internal hires usually have a higher success rate and already understand the culture and politics of the organization. They have proven their loyalty and commitment. And internal promotions are a profoundly important retention strategy.

Of course, not all positions can be filled internally but make it a practice to give internal staff deserved consideration.

DO – consider hiring internally.

DO – interview both internal and external candidates with a deep dive into their qualifications and skills

DO – consider your long-term goals when hiring.

DON’T – hire the “best” candidate. Hire the best team player.

DON’T – Bypass hiring internal candidates

DON’T – hire thinking that any candidate will do because you need to fill a slot.

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