• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Hire the best applicants possible

by on
in Hiring,Management Training

Your organization has narrowed the field to two candidates for an administrative position. Both are experienced, both personable.

How to choose?
Great Hires — Every Time contains valuable tools designed to guide you right to your No. 1 candidate — Check them out here...
Nancy Brown has devised a way to make the right choice. Brown, an administration team leader and executive assistant at Manulife Financial in Kitchener, Ont., uses a system for interviewing that helps her discern which candidate will ultimately be the best fit.

"It's been very successful," she says. "Everyone has been happy with the candidates I've presented them."

Here's how she does it:

Revise out-of-date job descriptions to reflect the job today. If your department has a new executive or has been reorganized, the odds are that job descriptions have changed.

"The admin role is always changing," Brown says.

She fine-tunes general requirements, such as "Must use Excel." Everyone uses Excel, she says. Brown pinpoints the extent of use by writing, for example: "Must use Excel to forecast and budget."

Create a checklist of duties and desired skills, based on the job description. Brown uses her checklist to guide her candidate interviews.

Rate candidates on each skill. Brown's checklist features columns numbered "1" to "5," which she uses to quantify applicants' skills in each area.

"That way, I'm not just using my gut to size up the candidate," Brown says. "A person is qualified not because they answered questions well, but because they have the experience."
Good hiring isn’t random or simply luck. It takes careful research, hard work, follow-up and the ability to unmask an applicant’s true attitude. With Great Hires – Every Time, you’ll be able to marry all of these components and find the perfect match for your business. Start now!

Check résumés for a business or secretarial degree.


"I want to hire a career-minded person, as opposed to someone who wants to get a foot in the door of a large company," Brown says. "If they belong to IAAP, all the better."

Screen for particular attributes you need on your team by asking behavior-based questions ("Tell me about a time when you ...").

Example: Brown asks candidates to tell her about a time they used initiative to either learn something new or to do their job better, or to help others around them do their jobs better.

No doubt, Brown's own initiative is one of the top qualities that earned her the OfficeTeam Administrative Excellence Award.

Congratulations, Nancy!
Hiring is only one aspect of managing well, but it’s the most important task you have. If you don’t select the right employees, no amount of good management will turn them into valuable members of your team. And as many experts now believe, hiring the person whose enthusiasm for the job equals (or even outweighs) his skills may be the key to job success.

With Great Hires — Every Time, you'll get all these tools to help you hire the best:
book cover
  • A skills-ranking chart
  • Telephone evaluation forms
  • An attitude meter
  • A sample release form
  • A résumé checklist
  • Candidate evaluation sheets
  • Sample ads
  • Sample interview questions
Get your copy today!

Leave a Comment