How To Decide Who To Hire

Hiring the right talent for your company and your team is critical for anyone interested in growing and scaling their company, team, or organization.


Making a bad hire can have drastic consequences, not only financially but also to team morale and overall company health.
A bad hire is not only a major inconvenience, but it can also cost thousands of dollars.
The average price to replace a millennial that was a bad hire is over $20,000.
Do this too many times and you could see yourself out of business very quickly.


It’s more important than ever to make sure that you have the correct processes, structures, and procedures in place to ensure that you make the right hires.
Sometimes you may end up with more than one great candidate for a particular role and it may be challenging to decide who’s the best fit.
Without the proper structures and processes in place, you will leave yourself vulnerable to making these costly mistakes.
It’s worth the time and effort needed to put these measures in place and to lower your risk of making a bad hire.


First and foremost, one of the things that we make sure to do here at Aldebaran is to never judge a book by its cover.
Deciding who to interview based on a resume is critical.
You obviously don’t want to interview people that don’t look like they have the requirements for the job.
But you also don’t want to put too much stock in a resume.
Keep in mind people have varying skills at writing resumes and a resume is not fully representational of a person.
You have to be able to see through the resume in order to be able to decide who the best people are to talk to.
Often times a resume will leave you with more questions than answers.
You want to make sure you aren’t bringing too many preconceived notions to the picture.


Your interview process is going to be the most important thing when it comes to hiring the right talent.
The number one mistake interviewers tend to make in interviews is they lead the witness.
In other words, they ask questions that are too simple to be answered with a yes or no question.
It’s important that you don’t make it too easy for a candidate to tell you what you want to hear.
Interviewers often ask questions like, “have you worked on digital marketing campaigns before?” That is an easy yes for anybody.
People tend to tell you what they think you want to hear to be as strategic as possible when it comes to getting the job.
You have to form your interview questions in a way that teases out the answers that you want.
Don’t ask, “do you work on digital marketing campaigns?”
Instead ask, “tell me about the types of campaigns that you’ve worked on?”
Don’t ask, “do you work well in a fast-paced environment?”
Instead ask, “tell me your ideal work environment and what type of environment would you say that you thrive in?”
You want to have them go into as much detail as possible.


Often it’s important to open the communication and invite candidates to be honest with you.
We are very conditioned to tell people in an interview what we think they want to hear.
It’s your job as the interviewer to be straight with your candidates.
Let them know that neither of you wants to work together if it’s not the right fit.
Give them full disclosure that you’re going to ask questions and they should be as honest as possible so that you can both gauge if it’s the right fit.
That kind of transparency is critical when actually getting to the core and asking people questions.


Another critical aspect that you need to be able to interview for his culture.
Culture is key and tends to be more important than hard skills.
If you get the right person that fits with your culture, you can teach them certain things and fill certain gaps much easier.
The first step to interviewing for culture is having a well-defined culture in your company.
If your company doesn’t have a well defined culture that is present and alive with your employees, then there’s no way you can interview for it.
If you do have a well defined culture in place then you should have core values and a core focus that you can interview people for.
You can ask people what kind of culture is best for them.
You can ask for examples of problems that they’ve solved or challenges they’ve had in the past.
And ask for examples of things that they like and don’t like with current or previous companies.
We also recommend after those questions that you go over your core values and culture with them.
You want to tell them what the expectations would be inside the culture and core values.
Then they can make the decision for themselves whether or not the culture is the right fit for them.


Many employees come in to a job and are surprised by things they should have been informed about during the interview process.
You don’t want employees to be surprised by the hard skills required of the job or the culture of your company.
It’s critical from a hard skills perspective that you figure out a way to test your candidates that come through.
This can be simple with technical roles because you can do coding tests and reprogramming tests.
It can get a little bit more tricky with people in marketing and client services.
With somebody who is a creative, it’s a good idea to give them a writing test and of course to look at previous samples of their work.
For someone who is more of a campaign person, you may have them do a mock campaign, project or presentation.
The bottom line is you want some way to test and see how they would do the job that you would be hiring them for.
You cannot take people solely on their word.
You need to be able to see it and have it be part of your interview process.


Reference checks are becoming a thing of the past, are becoming less and less relevant and not the best use of time in today’s fast-moving market.
The reason being is that no one is ever going to give somebody a bad reference.
Where a reference can come in use is if you’ve got two candidates and you can’t decide between who to hire.
Then you can check references on them both to see if one of them is more glowing or better than the other.
That is the only time we recommend doing reference checks.
If you’re on the fence about hiring someone this could be another possible scenario for doing reference checks.
You can speak to their previous supervisor and ask candidly about your concerns with this person.
These conversations need to be done correctly though so that you can level with that person and get accurate answers about your concerns.
Some references are going to be more honest with you and some will just be more ingratiating with their candidate.


At the end of the day, if you need to decide between two candidates in terms of who’s going to be the best fit then we recommend you look more at culture.
They likely have similar hard skills so you should talk with your team about who is going to be the best long-term fit for the company.
You want to figure out who is going to fit in best with your group and who is going to be the embodiment of your core values, etc.
Bottom line is that the best culture fit is going to be more important and the harder thing to find.


Incorporating these tips into your interview and hiring process will go a long way in hiring the right people.
We recommend having your interview process be a standard process that all candidates go through and that it be the same for everybody.
Standardized process allows for you to make changes if needed and it’s critical that you are constantly looking to learn and grow.
Happy hunting!

Want more tips on refining your interview process? Check this out:

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