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Best Practices for Staffing Project Leaders: Selection and On-boarding

This series will provide in-depth coverage of each of the steps in the staffing process.

This post covers the final two steps: Select the Right Candidate and Conduct the post-decision process.

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Once you have conducted the interviews, it’s time to evaluate the candidates.

Coordinating among all parties, utilize the skills versus results matrix (which shove have been developed in the Compare/Review/Select stage) to objectively narrow down to the best candidate. Collect substantive feedback from all interviewers and include ratings and data gathered from standard interview questions. Review the technical skills as well as the leadership scores.

Perform a thorough reference check of subordinates, peers, bosses, customers and/or vendors the candidates have worked with in the past. Remember that references are almost always positive, so your evaluation of these references should be graded in that context. A sterile thumbs-up is effectively negative. Gushing, recommendations should be the standard for judging excellent candidates.

Be sure to provide timely feedback to all parties that invested their valuable time.

Once you’ve found the right candidate, it’s time to communicate your decision and develop a comprehensive on-boarding plan. Have a backup plan for if your first choice of candidate is no longer available or has accepted a counter-offer. This part of the process has become more crucial as highly skilled candidates are in high demand with multiple companies vying for the best talent. Someone within the organization needs to take point with the candidate, talk to them regarding the counter-offer and be prepared to sweeten the pot if necessary or renegotiate.

If engaged with a staffing firm, a good firm is already preparing contingencies, managing the situation, and being proactive prior to submitting the candidate. Call upon their expertise in negotiating offers, be open with your concerns and changes, and they will help you get across the finish line. Retaining candidates is much more easily achieved if you are communicating with the candidate and staffing firm in a timely fashion throughout the process.

Once you have the candidate on-board, it is time to adopt them into the organization.

There is a multi-tiered staffing approach necessary to ensure a candidate is not only found, but also properly implemented and adopted into the organization. Click here to learn more.

To read more about the earlier steps of the staffing process, click on the appropriate step: Communicate process and define requirements, Initiate Search, Review/compare/select for follow-up, Prepare for candidate interview, Conduct interview.

You can access our comprehensive white paper on project staffing for free here.