A: Don’t expect the head-hunters to do your job. They find the candidates. You make the final choice. Make sure you get the person you want – don’t necessarily go for the candidate your head-hunter would like you to choose. I, too, am sceptical about CVs, psychometric testing and references, but they only form part of the background. The final decision must be based on how you assess the personality of each candidate.
Don’t just rely on formal interviews – always bring likely candidates back for another meeting and ask some of your colleagues to give a second opinion. It helps to meet in a more social environment – a meal out or a round of golf gives you a good chance to get to know your candidate better.
A game of golf will give you plenty of time together, but be careful – it may be tempting to be impressed by a low handicap golfer, but remember: you are not hiring him to chip and putt. I would be more interested in his performance in the clubhouse.
Before finally deciding, send your preferred candidate on a tour of the business to meet your key people. A quick thumbnail sketch from your colleagues will confirm or question your view.
Once you make an appointment, you are committed to spend a lot of time with this person. If they can’t pass the lunch/golf test, they are not right for the job.