Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

When Hiring Managers Disagree on a Candidate

Finding that person perfect for the job can be a difficult task. Hiring managers and employers know that all too well. It is especially difficult if there is more than one person in on the decision. You have to agree on what you think is most important in a candidate and whether or not any of your candidates fit that description. You might think that Candidate A is best, but your colleague might believe Candidate B is better suited. What’s even more difficult is disagreeing with a superior. Perhaps you are hiring for a marketing assistant and believe you found the best fit. Only problem? The marketing director doesn’t agree with you. It can be a tough situation, but there are certain things you can do as hiring manager to help you through it.

Understand the Role
Spark Hire has discussed this a lot, but that’s only because it is very important. As hiring manager, it is without a doubt your responsibility to make sure you understand the role you are hiring for. This is especially true if you are hiring for multiple departments in the company. If you come to a disagreement on a candidate, then the first thing to do is to hark back to the role itself. Sit down with the other person that is in on the decision and list all of the qualifications you both think are needed to fill the position. Once that is done- and it should be before you even start hiring- break down the candidates in question. What skills does your candidate have that match this job role? Why do you think they are best fitted for this position? Are there some things missing?

The next best thing would be to take a look at the candidate your colleague thinks is the best. Do the skills match up? What does this candidate have that yours does not? Compare and contrast the candidates and try to understand why your colleague thinks Candidate B is best. If you did not personally interview this candidate yourself, it can be difficult to understand where they are coming from. Which leads us to our next tip:

Use Video Interviews
In the off chance that you interviewed one candidate and your colleague or superior interviewed another, it can sometimes be difficult to understand why they appreciated one over the other. Especially since you didn’t get to meet and interact with them personally. This is one big reason why video interviews are such a great tool in the hiring process. When you interview with candidates online through video interviews, the interview is recorded. Not only is it of great use to you- in case you want to go back and check their personality or communication skills again- but it’s a great tool to use in comparing and contrasting candidates.

Company Culture
Another thing to keep in mind when disagreeing on a candidate is company culture fit. Before you make a decision, or think that your candidate is by far the best for the job, keep the company culture in mind. Your candidate might have all of the right skills and qualifications, but perhaps the candidate your colleague wants is the best company culture fit. Or vice versa. Remember that certain skills can always be learned and picked up, but company culture fit cannot be faked or learned. There can be an employee that works in a company and has all of the right skills, but if they do not fit in with the company culture it is sure to cause waves. On top of that, it will be much easier for an employee like that to jump ship as soon as another job offer rolls around.

Disagreeing on a candidate can be a tough situation to tackle, but with the right tools– and the right outlook- you and your colleague can certainly come to a decision. And the best decision at that!

Have you ever had to compromise on a hire because you disagreed with a colleague? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by raincoaster

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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