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Hiring the Best

President Samuelson

"If we do our part, we have the unspeakable privilege to be part of an enterprise that may cause inspired prophecy to be fulfilled. But, just as in the early days of our institution, this progress and improvement does not just happen. It requires continued blessings from heaven and also our best, consistent, and most effective efforts." President Cecil O. Samuelson Inaugural Address, September 9, 2003

Best Qualified/Best Match

What is a "best hire?" Many would say it is the selection of the best qualified and best matched applicant to the job requirements and work environment. This pamphlet is designed to help hiring managers find and recognize these high impact players.

A "best hire" is achieved through both objective and subjective criteria. Sometimes a "dream" candidate appears on the scene at the right moment in time. But more likely, a "best hire" is the result of a superior hiring strategy executed through an effective hiring and selection process.

New Opportunities for Improvement

Every job opening is a chance to welcome talented new employees who can improve Brigham Young University by adding new skills, new approaches and new talent. Hiring managers have a responsibility to hire the candidate who will best meet the current and future needs of both the department and the university. Because many of the departments in the university see little turnover in key positions, each hire becomes even more critical. Every open position is an opportunity for change, new vision, and/or improvement.

Position Profile

Each hiring decision can have long-term consequences. A good time to review job functions and requirements is before filling a vacant position. Review university and department mission statements and consider how this position can help accomplish these goals:

  • The basics:
    • What qualifications would the ideal candidate possess?
    • What are the essential skills, experience, education needs, and certifications?
    • What factors have been the most important in the past for good performance?
    • What will this person need to accomplish in the first six months?
  • Up a Notch:
    • What would great performance in this position be like?
    • What are the "preferred" skills or talents that would make great performance possible?
  • In Interviews:
    • What key job-related information do you want to know about the candidate?
    • What are key showstoppers that would greatly impact performance or team unity?
    • What key things should be identified in interviews: verbal, non-verbal; past, future; task, relationships; detail, creativity; etc.?

Planning for the Best

A little planning can save a great deal of headache when employees decide to leave. Look at gaps between current talent and future required skills.

  • Who will need to be replaced due to retirement, graduation, transfer, etc.?
  • Does the position really need to be filled? Can the work be redistributed or even eliminated, perhaps with a change in working conditions?

"Don't hire just because you have an open position. Wait for the 'great hire'." Mike Murray

"It all starts with a 'great hire'. It all ends with a 'medium hire'." Microsoft Motto

"People are not your most important asset. The right people are." Jim Collins, Good to Great

Updated by the HRS Web Team, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 - Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.