Recruiting: the upside of management

Being a manager can be tough. Not only do you have to make difficult decisions that affect both you and you’re team, you have to deal with others doing the same for theirs. But occasionally you’re placed with a difficult decision that’s a joy to make. I was in this situation yesterday, following the move of one of my staff to another team.

I’ve been conducting interviews for her replacement since the New Year. The quality of the CVs that have passed my way surprised me, which made it more difficult to narrow the field down. A nice problem to have though.

Eventually we interviewed six, narrowing this down to three who came back for a second interview and technical test. Of those initial six, only one was a definite “No”, and only because they didn’t fit our office culture. They actually were the best technically.

Of the three who returned for the second stage, there were two stand out candidates. Both were fairly similar in experience, but had very different personalities and backgrounds. They both did well in the technical test, although perhaps one just shaded it. So who should I disappoint?

As I said management can be difficult at times, but this is the sort of decision every manager craves. Either of the candidates would have fitted in well and done the job. In the end it came down to who best fitted my needs. One candidate would have needed more support in the early stages. The other seemed more capable of working independently. As I’m not a micro-manager, that candidate got the nod.

Having analysed the facts, making the final decision was relatively easy. Coming from a strong position helped, but so did having such good candidates. I’m truly sorry that we didn’t have two vacancies. I’d have had no qualms about hiring them both. But I’ve no doubt the unsuccessful candidate will get another job soon.

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