How to hire candidates for fit and outcomes

This article goes over how to hire candidates based on fit and outcomes.

Candidate Fit

There are two criteria for candidate fit:

  1. Cultural Fit: If the candidate has the values and personality to succeed at the organization.
  2. Technical Fit: If the candidate has the skills and experience to succeed at the role.

Most of the time, you want to hire candidates with both cultural and technical fit.

  Technical Fit Not Technical Fit
Cultural Fit ✅ Hire ❌ Reject
Not Cultural Fit ❌ Reject ❌ Reject

But for an entry-level position, you can consider hiring a person with a cultural fit if you’re willing to train the person on the technical-side.

Hiring Outcome

There are four hiring outcomes:

  1. True Positive: You hired a good candidate.
  2. True Negative: You rejected a bad candidate.
  3. False Positive: You hired a bad candidate.
  4. False Negative: You rejected a good candidate.

Most of the time, you want to get good at identifying (1) true positives and (2) true negatives because that’s knowing who to hire and who to reject.

  Positive Negative
True ✅ Good Hire ✅ Good Rejection
False ❌ Bad Hire ❌ Bad Rejection

Organizations would rather reject a good candidate than hire a bad candidate because of the impact a bad hire can leave on the team.

As a result, hiring managers have two goals:

  1. Move good candidates forward the pipeline as quickly as possible.
  2. Remove bad candidates from the pipeline as early as possible.

Why? Because time is money:

  • There needs to be urgency to make good candidates offers before they’re snatched up or given competing offers by other companies. (Maximize your leverage.)
  • If a bad candidate moves down the pipeline, then you’re wasting your employees’ time interviewing someone who will not work out. (Minimize your cost.)

Strong organizations are good at evaluating candidates and have a consistent process that can ensure repeatable outcomes.

If you don’t have a process, then work with your team to create one. Rate each candidate against a scorecard of attributes and competencies required for the role. Manage and measure your pipeline so you can continuously improve it.

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