Dear Aunty B,
I run a small marketing and social media firm in Newcastle. After securing a number of new clients late last year, I’ve decided to bring onboard a new team member. It’s a big risk as I’ve only ever had one other employee and our budgets are really tight. But I’m determined to grow my company.
My co-founder and I just interviewed a number of recent uni graduates and have narrowed the selection down to three candidates. The thing is they’re all so talented and would fit right in, that my business partner and I just can’t decide who we should give the job to. We never thought we would be in this situation!
What do you think we should do?
Let’s look at the bright side first – it’s great that you’ve got more than one outstanding candidate for the role.
This means there’s a great pool of talent out there and no matter what, you’re going to choose someone with the right skills.
But you say that you’re finding it impossible to make a final decision.
I think you’re unable to pick between the shortlisted candidates because not much time has passed since the interviews.
If you hadn’t made up your mind by the time the last interview was over, give it at least another day for the dust to settle.
Actually, this reminds me of a great blog post I read recently by the co-founder of social media scheduling app Hootsuite.
Chief executive Ryan Holmes says when leaders are facing a difficult problem, they should refrain from making spur-of-the-moment decisions.
“When it comes to making more complicated, high-impact decisions, it is crucial to take some time out – or to ‘sleep on it’, as the old saying goes,” Holmes says.
“I’ve found time and time again that when making big, complex choices at Hootsuite – like key hiring or fundraising decisions – it’s paramount to take a ‘time out’ before making the final call.”
While I’m normally sceptical of what these hip, yogalates startup-types have to say, this one has a point.
Too much of our life is spent running from one meeting to the next while sending off a flurry of texts and, at least in my case, looking at my thousands of Twitter mentions.
Letting yourself sit back and look at an issue from all angles – maybe with a G&T in hand – is very important.
So you know what I think?
I reckon you should give yourself a few more days to decide on who is the best fit for your company.
The answer will come to you eventually, you just have to trust in your gut instinct.
Nobody likes to be kept waiting, though, so shoot off a brief but polite email letting the shortlisted candidates know that you’ll get back to them ASAP but it might end up being sometime next week.
After all, you’re the person who needs to be sure you’re giving the right person the job. If they really care about the future of your business, they’ll understand.