Luke Watkeys, Business Manager
What will most likely happen is that when you come to debate afterwards with your fellow panel the various merits (or otherwise) of the candidate, you’ll find it really difficult to eloquently explain your reasoning. This is a problem. After all, no one in their right mind would want to explain to a candidate that they were unsuccessful because you had a ‘feeling in your waters that something wasn’t right’.
Additional to this, and arguably more problematic, is the issue of discrimination. If that candidate subsequently complains that they were denied the job because of their age, race, disability etc…, unless you have a clear merit based structure upon which to base your decision you’ll find it difficult to argue that you weren’t being discriminatory.
So what to do?
It must be said that there is no inherent harm in having a ‘feeling’ when interviewing someone; the most important thing is to drill down into what it was about their behaviour that sparked the reaction. Was it their outfit? Did they convey a certain type of body language? Did they appear disinterested? Did they spend inordinate amounts of time talking waffle? In our experience, challenging surface level feelings more often than not leads to the hiring manager being able to explain properly and clearly what the real issue was in a behavioural-based way.
As mentioned in a previous blog, having a competency based approach to recruitment will also help you to identify problem areas and to structure your feedback accordingly. Problems with them waffling on? Unfortunately they didn’t meet your expectations around ‘Communication, influencing and promotion’. Looked moody? Unfortunately other candidates demonstrated stronger examples of ‘Relationships and partnership working’.
So, trust your instincts. Just make sure that you’re able to define them as clearly and objectively as possible. This goes just as much for the X-Factor Christmas No. 1 candidates as it does for their counterpart pub karaoke singers.