Finding the Right Candidate (Part 1)

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Over the last few weeks I have been working with one of my customers to hire some additional resources. The economic challenges have meant that there are a lot of quality resources available, and in some ways recruiting managers are spoiled for choice. However, there are also a lot of candidates applying for every job that’s posted, and not all of them will consider the positions that I have as “perfect” jobs, just better than nothing.

This can pose a number of challenges for companies that are looking to hire, and in this two-part article I would like to explore some of those challenges and ways to work around them to ensure that you hire the right candidate for the position available. In Part 2 I’ll focus on interview and selection, but in this first part I want to focus on the process that leads up to the interviews, a process that in my experience is often not given the attention that it needs.

Know what you want
It sounds obvious, but before you post a job opening, make sure that you know what you are looking for. You will receive many applications (perhaps hundreds), and they will all offer different combinations of skills and experience. When you are writing the position description, make sure that you establish the criteria that are the “must haves” for the position--the things that can be used as a black-and-white …

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