Evaluate candidates using these basketball analogies:

Initial Cuts: Teams are cut form the tournament because of their record. When screening applicants, hold the same philosophy. We advise our clients to have one or two deal breakers or non-negotiables that the candidate must have. This may include a degree, minimum years of experience in a related field, or skills using a specific software.

The Underdog: In basketball, as with most sports, there is typically an underdog. This is someone who looks like they have no shot, but they have the drive, patience, determination or some other X factor that gives them the edge. The same is true of candidates. Perhaps a candidates does not have the necessary experience for the role. Maybe they were in a totally different career, like engineering or computer science, but the analytical skills they have, or the soft skills they obtained, are their X factor. The Batten Group’s vetting process finds out what drives the, their ability to self- evaluate, their sense of right and wrong, and their willingness to challenge the status quo. These things may be their X factor and might not show up as a line on their resume.

The Final Four: Sometimes selecting the Final Four in your bracket is easy, and sometimes it’s tough. Usually if you’re lucky enough to get all four teams right, you’re left arguing with anyone who will listen that your selection will win it all. Hopefully you are equally passionate about the final candidates in play. To help determine who is right, consider if the candidate asked intelligent questions, shared relevant industry news, showed stats and explained to how they’d help advance the company? Did they seem like a team player? Will they get along with coworkers?

On the Bubble: Unlike teams who are forced to wait to hear if they received an at large bid to the tournament, hot candidates don’t wait around. There are hundred of other tournaments they can play in because there are thousands of open positions. Top candidates can quickly be snatched up by another company. The Batten Group follows up frequently on where the decision stands during the process.

Final Cuts: We notify candidates who did not make the cut and share feedback on what they can improve on. They leave with a positive perception of the experience and most importantly, your organization.

Source: Tom Gimbell, The Conference Room, Fox Business