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Having worked in the executive search field for more than a decade, Ryder Cullison has seen many instances in which the hiring managers botch the process. Those fumbles often start with being fixated on finding the most perfect candidate, he notes on ERE.Net.

"The candidate must have the correct degree, must live within a commutable distance, must have the right niche of skills, must have international experience, must be willing to work for 'x' amount of dollars …" he writes. "If the candidate doesn't have the degree you want but beaucoup experience in the field, then defer to the experience and take advantage of their real-world skills."

In particular, you may have to yield on salary. Mr. Cullison often finds that hiring managers want all-star candidates for second-string salaries. It won't happen.

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Another mistake is to procrastinate. The hiring manager will take four days to review résumés, another week to schedule interviews, and then another two weeks after the first meeting with a candidate to decide if another interview is warranted. "What hiring managers don't realize is that the superstar candidate is also entertaining offers from other companies and their procrastination might lose them their top draft pick," he warns.

Also, don't treat the candidate as someone who desperately needs to work for you, but rather as someone who has other choices. "Tell the candidate why they should want to work for your company, and most importantly why they should want to work for you," he says.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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