Third in a series of three guest blog posts by Judith Lindenberger, President, The Lindenberger Group HR ConsultingSee part 1 here or part 2 here

After you have recruited and interviewed candidates for an open position, how do you decide who to hire? 

Here is a simple strategy that can help you make the best choice.

First, list up to five key competencies that are essential for the open position. For a customer service job, for instance, a few key competencies might be listening, problem-solving and follow up.

Second, on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, rate each top job candidate on how well he or she answered the interview question you asked to get to that key competency.

Last, the person with the highest rating is most likely the best person to hire. In the chart below, the person with the highest ratings is Betty Smith.

Customer Service RepresentativeListening SkillsProblem Solving SkillsFollow Up SkillsTOTAL
John Doe2439
Jane Doe24410
Bill Smith4329
Betty Smith53412

In addition to your own rating of each top candidate, try to obtain information from professional references. From our years of experience recruiting, interviewing and hiring new employees, we recommend that you always conduct reference checks.  It takes just a few minutes and you can gain valuable information.

Ask each reference how they know the job candidate, how long they have known one another, how they would rate the job candidate on each key competency (again on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest), if they would hire the person again (and if not, why not), and conclude by asking if there is anything that the reference wants to tell you about the person. Use this data to make an informed choice.

To learn more, contact The Lindenberger Group at or 609-730-1049.

(See part 1 of this blog series here and see part 2 of this blog series here)