Insiders Guide To The Hiring Decision

How The Hiring Decision Is Really Made

Now hiring sign
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You will hear and read a lot of information about what factors influence how the hiring decision is made. In reality, it all comes down to one thing - will hiring you make the hiring manager's job easier. The takes many things into consideration, but the person who gets hired is the one the hiring manager perceives will do the most to make his or her job easier.

Can You Do The Job?

Clearly this is a major consideration.

The better you can do the job the easier the manager's job will be. The more skilled you are the less time the manager will have to spend managing you and directing your work. You will need less training if you are already good at the job. This saves the manager time and saves money in his/her budget.

The manager is going to rank all the candidates for the job based on how well they can do the job:

  • Do you have the basic skills required for the job?
  • How much experience have you had doing the work required by this job?
  • What advanced skills do you have that are relevant to this job?
  • How much training will you need?
  • Will quickly will you be able to work independently?
  • Will you be able to help or train others?

Will You Fit The Team?

Generally, the better you fit with the team and the company culture the more likely you are to be hired. The hiring manager knows that if you fit with the rest of the team he/she will not have to spend time resolving inter-personal conflicts between you and the other members of the team.

If you fit well with the rest of the team you are more likely to fit into established patterns and procedures and improve the team's production rather than require a period of adjustment with reduced productivity.

The exception to this is when the manager sees your lack of fit as a good thing. For example, with a very young team, the manager may hire a more experienced candidate to bring a more structured approach to the team.

The hiring manager is going to rank all the candidates for the job based on how well they fit the team and the company culture:

  • Are you a good fit with the team?
  • Will you fit with existing procedures and practices?
  • How quickly will you be able to get up to full productivity?
  • Do you have personal traits that don't fit the team, but are desirable?
  • Are you a good fit with the overall company culture?

What Will You Cost?

Every hiring manager has a budget. This budget has to cover the salary and benefits of the new hire, but also any adjustments to salaries of other team members that may be needed as a result. If the hiring manager can hire you at the targeted salary or below he/she can stay within budget and won't have to spend any time making adjustments. If you request a salary above the target the hiring manager may be able to accommodate that salary, but he/she will have to spend some time making adjustments. Are you requesting any benefits that are outside the company norm, like an extra week of vacation? Even if the hiring manager can arrange that, he or she is going to have to spend time and effort making the necessary arrangements. This doesn't mean you should not ask for the salary and benefits you feel you deserve, just that they may make the hiring manager's work load increase.

The hiring manager may decide you are worth the cost, but it will impact the hiring decision.

The hiring manager is going to rank all the candidates for the job based on what they will cost, in both time and money:

  • Are your salary requirements at or below the target for the position?
  • Are you requesting any benefits beyond the company's norm?
  • Will hiring you require the hiring manager make adjustments to any other team member's salary?
  • Will hiring you require any additional effort on the hiring manager's part to justify any additional expense?
  • Does the hiring manager believe you are worth the additional cost?

Is There Outside Pressure?

No hiring manager operates in a vacuum. All of us have outside forces that influence us at work every day. The manager has a boss that he/she has to keep happy. The position the manager is trying to fill probably will interact with other departments in the company.

The manager of the other department may have preferences for the skills that department wants in the new hire. Human Resources (HR) is concerned that company and government rules and regulations regarding hiring practices be followed. If hiring you is going to cause any problems with any of the outside influences you are less likely to be hired because it will make the manager's job more difficult.

The hiring manager is going to rank all the candidates for the job based on whether hiring them will cause any problems with any of the other departments:

  • Will hiring you cause any problems with the hiring manager's boss?
  • What other departments will you work with and do any of them have preferences that you don't meet?
  • Is hiring you going to cause any problems with the company's hiring practices that will take time or effort on the manager's part to explain or justify?
  • Will hiring you cause any problems with government rules or regulations that the company will have to deal with and the hiring manager will have to spend time to support?

Bottom Line

A hiring manager is going to hire the candidate who he or she believes will do the most to make his or her job easier. Every manager today has more work than they have time for and while they recognize that recruiting, screening, and hiring new employees is a critically important part of their job, they will always opt for the candidate who will do the most to help them out by making their job easier in all its different aspects.