The scenario: You take an assignment to fill up job vacancies for your sales department, the process normally come this way: You prepare a job ad, spreaded the ads where appropriate ie. on the news, busy job boards, executive search services ... , you start to see resumes/cv coming in, then screening process begin, first round interview, second round interview ... until you have truely potential candidates of 5 or 6, move on until you get 2 last men standing. Now what? Sometimes you luckily find the one that obviously stand out, rest of the case you find it hard to decide, so?
Rank your candidates for future
reference One of the first assignment at an international company I worked
for 8 years ago were to interview and propose a short list of 3 best fit
candidate for a management position.
At that time, I have well
equipted with training sessions about HR management, which included
interviewing technique, competencies based interview, hiring and
selection… Things were ok from the beginning when the order was just “3
best fit candidates” and you’re fine. First trouble came in when I met
with a very demanding Marketing Director, who came from Australia. This
gentleman always came up with question such as “who’s best, who’s next
best and who’s the 3rd runner up… things like that. If I had a scoring
board like what I am doing today, then that would be easy to deal with
that demanding Marketing manager.
If your candidate pool is just 3
or 4 persons, then you would not have any troubles ranking them. But
interviewing 10 candidates is a different story, how you identify the
second best, the 3rd best. Then you have to rank all 10 candidates you
interviewed for some purpose, your boss may want you to wrap up a report
telling him exactly how you proceed the hiring process. I would rather
suggest pair ranking for such situation.
The concept seems to be
used a lot among consulting firms. You may ask ‘hell, I got the first 3
best candidates, so why should I care about the rest?”. You’re right!
However, that still not rational enough to tell who rank what positions
for all candidates that you processed. Or sometimes you may want to call
back some second best or even third best for other purpose or probably for
some other positions which might be available a week afterward. That’s not
to say the ranking system would certainly help you appear confident before
Basically, the idea is pretty simple. You compare
one candidate to another, base on a set of criteria or competencies. Then
you compare one candidate to another based on each of criteria. At the end
of the process, you sum up the scoring. Those who get the highest score
would be ranked number 1 and … The higher scored candidates would be
Let follow the simple example below.
1/ Set up
a score sheet, like a matrix form. Row headers would be names of candidate.
Column headers would be competencies or criterias.
2/ Compare one
candidate to another, do it for all candidates. The output at the end of
the scoring process is SCORES of each candidate.
3/ Sum up the calculation, those who get the greater points would rank higher in the ranking list.
Compare A-B; A-C; A-D for the competency 1:
A-B: you say A is better than B, then give A 1 point
A-C: you say A is better than B, then give A 1 point
A-D: you say D is better than A, then give D 1 point
Do the same for B-C; B-D; and C-D
Once you finish for the C1, do the same for C2 and C3
Actually, you may want to try this pair ranking process to some other works … such as your top 30 movies of all times ?