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Risk Management in the Hiring Process: Ranking

By Roger Duffield, CPCU, ARM

Early in my career I had the good fortune of having a lot of formal management and leadership training. Often, we were provided tools for organizing thoughts for problem solving. One that I have used repeatedly was intended for complex decision making when multiple people are involved.

You identify and prioritize the key elements of a decision by ranking them in advance. When it comes time to make a decision between multiple options, you assign a weight from 1-10 to each. This isn’t a ranking – you can have multiple 9s and no 1s and 2s for example.

Excel screenshot showing the weighted scale

When using this in a job interview setting, you first look at the job description. The team discusses each area, such as “Connecting with culture” and “Oral Communication skills” and assigns a weighted rating from 1-10 to the category. In an interview setting, every person will rank each applicant, with a score from 1-5 in each category. This score is then multiplied by the category weight to create a total applicant score. This weighted method allows you to decide that some attributes are more important than others, while still keeping an easy 1-5 rating scale during the interview.

By deciding up front what is important, everyone can stay objective and the dialogue during interviews becomes more attribute/skill centered. It provides team members a tool to explain their thought process about candidates. Finally, it provides a method of quantification to distinguish between a good and great decision.

When using this tool for evaluating applicants, begin by working with a hiring manager to evaluate the position, identify the desired talent, skills, and experience along with a weighting. This allows you to drill down into what the perfect employee should be. The one area that I have always put at the top is mission/vision/culture. Skills can be taught, and experience can be gained – but nothing can fix an employee that doesn’t align with your core values.

At in2vate, we have been fans of phone interviews for years as it allows us to connect with a wider range of candidates to assure that we hire the right person. By using this matrix, we can allow a screener to complete the first round of interviews. They complete the matrix and there is an objective weighted score for each candidates talent, skills and experience. This allows us to ensure that the candidates moving on to in-person interviews align with the attributes we value the most.

In the next article, we will examine the importance of mission, vision, and culture to an organization’s risk management approach in the hiring process.


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