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Submitted by Jason.T on


Hello community,

Interesting situation and would love some input. I have made many hires in my career but have yet to experience this situation. During the IRCM we had 3 of the interviewers (me included) give a "Hire" recommendation and another give a "no way I would hire" recommendation. The person who said now was the candidates 1st interview of the day and, based on the feedback, the candidate really struggled to clearly answer the questions.

I am curious how some of you would approach this situation? Feedback I've received for next steps include:

  • Just say no and re-open the position to try to source new candidates
  • Have the candidate re-interview w/ the person who said no. See if it was just a bad experience.
  • Have the candidate both re-interview w/ the person who said no and also talk to 1-2 others

For context, this role has been vacant for 2 months and is a managerial role. Some urgency, but urgency does not trump quality in a candidate. To be sure. 

Thank you

Chris Zeller's picture
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Hi Jason,

Like so many things, it depends. Based on the post, it appears that you are the hiring manager and your process does not require unanimous endorsement in order to hire.

With that in mind, you can choose to disregard the "no-hire" recommendation and move forward anyway. Alternatively, this could be a case where the candidate "did not demonstrate" was was required in order to earn an offer. Better to decline an acceptable candidate that stumbled than hire someone who is unacceptable, right?

Here are some quesitons that come to mind that might help you navigate next steps:

1. Who issued the dissenting opinion? What role do they have relative to the vacancy in question?

2. Was the evaluation sound, focused on the candidate's actual behavior, words, etc. and not a conclusion drawn by the interviewer?

3. What sort of hiring and interviewing experience does this person have?

4. What's the track record for people that they have chosen to hire in the past?

5. How much do you trust them to faithfully conduct the interivew and report back accurately?

6. How committed to process are you?

7. What role is your "gut-feeling" playing right now and, objectively, is it appropriate?

If you have no reason to question the ability and judgment of the person who recommending that you take a pass, then I think you take a pass and value the perspective that they bring and the role that they play in the hiring process.

Decline the candidate directly, voice-to-voice, in a professional way that, if they otherwise have potential, keeps the door open for the future and an opportunity to better perform.

Jason.T's picture
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Chris - thanks for the input. I ended up making a decision but thought it might help others to answer your questions too. My decision was to re-source the role and take that one candidate and let him know he was not out of the running. Not ideal, but I cannot settle (no surprise there, I'm sure). 

As to what you raised:

  1. It was a peer of mine, more tenured than me (by a lot). No stake in the hiring process as the candidate would not work with any of my peer's people.
  2. Yep, solid feedback about not being able to succinctly answer the follow-up questions, had to reframe the questions on several occasions, etc.
  3. A wealth of experience (which is why I tapped this person to assist).
  4. Not bad, although I honestly don't know what the benchmark is. 
  5. High trust in the person and sticking to the process.
  6. VERY
  7. Looping back to my final choice, gut said get more candidates but don't discount this person entirely. 

Your last two statements are spot on. It was comforting, I received messages from several of the other candidates thanking me for the experience, attention to detail, timely follow-up, etc. Have to keep a strong reputation in the market, plus it's just the right way to treat people!


Chris Zeller's picture
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Hi Jason,

I'm glad that I was able to validate what you were thinking. Thanks for taking the time to reply; it looks like you made the right decision for your team.

Good luck on re-sourcing the role and finding someone who can get over the high bar that youv'e set.