Selection Committee

How Open Interviews Benefit Company Performance

The job of a Selection Committee is to carefully select the best person for the position based on numerous factors. These factors include: (a) the candidate’s qualifications and skills; (b) his/her professional accomplishments; (c) the employer’s stated needs, (d) the candidate’s personality and style, (e) the employer’s relationship with the candidate, (f) the candidate’s potential to contribute to the organization, and (g) the candidate’s potential to positively impact the workplace environment and/or the overall corporate culture. In other words, the Selection Committee seeks to achieve the best outcome possible for the position in the most productive and efficient way possible. The entire point of a selection committee is to have multiple viewpoints on the potential hire and to minimize the risk that any single person will have a preconceived bias toward or an aversion toward any particular candidate. Also, if the Selection Committee cannot reach consensus as to the best candidate, they must rely on the employee to represent him or herself and be willing to undergo the rigors of an extensive interview process that usually includes multiple rounds of questioning and numerous recommendations from the employee.

There are many reasons why organizations use a selection committee. One of the primary reasons is that they are highly functional; they understand the complexities of human resources and what types of questions should be asked during an interview. Another reason is that they can offer insights that the employee may not be aware of or be able to come up with on their own. They can also provide invaluable feedback to the hiring manager regarding any areas that need improvement in the ability of the candidate to perform the job duties relating to the position for which he or she has been interviewed for. Through utilizing a combination of the various talent and personality tests administered by many of today’s career planning organizations, along with the data derived from performance review and interviews, the selection committee can effectively narrow down the field of potential candidates.

In the days of yesterday, a hiring selection committee often met only once-a-year when there were not as many opportunities for networking. A new perspective was required, so in that year a different set of people was selected for the interview process. The interviewing process today is much more rigorous, as well as having a much longer duration. This is necessary, as it is becoming more evident that there are fewer employees who possess the appropriate skills and attributes to meet the needs of today’s businesses and industries. Organizations need to be very careful that they do not select a candidate simply because they are inexpensive or have a title.

Many companies have discovered that the most successful candidates are those with both skill sets, education, and life experiences that are relevant to their organization. In addition to selecting based upon skills and experience, an effective selection committee can weed out those candidates who simply don’t fit the mold. Through providing applicants with a wide range of options, the interview process becomes more engaging and interesting. This is especially true for candidates who are applying online, where the interviewer must determine the type of candidate, as well as how to tailor the questions to the particular type of person. With online training, interviewers can ensure that they are selecting the best possible candidate for each job opening.

When a potential candidate appears to possess all of the characteristics listed above, but has not been invited to participate in an interview or hearing, the Selection Committee has an opportunity to develop a positive working relationship. Through a series of meetings, the selection committee member may ask questions regarding the candidate’s accomplishments, and decide whether there is a potential to develop an open dialogue. Often times, the best candidates hear what they want to hear, and aren’t necessarily inclined to speak highly of themselves. By taking the time to carefully develop an initial dialogue, rather than forcing an open dialogue on a candidate, companies have the opportunity to learn more about how the employee fits into the organization’s structure and culture.

It should be clear by now that the process of hiring is much more involved today than it was even a few short years ago. As more companies realize the need to hire not simply a competent employee, but one that possesses a sense of professionalism and intelligence, the amount of time spent interviewing candidates will undoubtedly decrease. Companies that wish to improve their chances of finding a suitable candidate through a selection process should strive to develop an environment where interviews are more relaxed, allowing the candidate to freely express themselves without unnecessary probing. With this method, and the assistance of an experienced hiring committee, companies stand better chance of developing the very best candidates for their open positions.