The “Threshold of Hireability”

When you’re trying to fill an open position, the way to do it is by finding the best candidate in the applicant pool, and then offering them the position, right?

Well, sort of.

You can go this route, and it’s particularly tempting after you’ve  reviewed all of the candidates, phone interviewed many of them, brought several of them in for in-person interviews, and brought a few in for MORE in-person interviews, ALL while trying to keep up with the workload in your short-staffed shop.

“Let’s just hire the best available candidate, and we’ll move forward from there.” (After all, any deficiencies they have can be made up for through some super-awesome training and coaching on my part!)

Problem is, if your top candidate doesn’t cross the Threshold of Hireability, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Any time I’m deciding whether or not to extend a job offer, the most important question I ask is whether or not the candidate crosses this Threshold. If not, I keep looking.

What exactly is the “Threshold of Hireability?” It’s the dividing line that separates the truly hireable candidates from the ones that are just okay. If a candidate doesn’t make it past this line, don’t even consider hiring them, even if you are in a pinch.

How do you set your Threshold of Hireability? Ultimately, that is up to you as the person making the hiring decision, but it comes down to this: What are the skills and attributes that are essential for the successful candidate? What are the deal-makers and deal-breakers in terms of what a candidate brings to the table? What qualities does the candidate need to have to be a valuable addition to your team?

Consciously defining your Threshold of Hireability — and then thinking about your top candidate(s) in the context of that standard — positions you to make a much better hiring decision than you would if you simply chose the best applicant. There are a number of reasons why you don’t want to make a bad hire, and the Threshold of Hireability is one “tool” that can help keep you from making such a mistake.

Never settle for anyone who doesn’t meet the standard you set; and if you find that more than one candidate clearly exceeds the Threshold, wonderful! Your hiring decision just got a whole lot easier!


2 responses to “The “Threshold of Hireability”

  1. Great advice, Mark! It means success for your organization AND for the new hire.

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