As a logistics recruitment consultant, I’ve worked with a broad range of managers employing an array of hiring practices. One of the best tools I’ve seen for assessing the skills and overall fit of a candidate is the panel interview.

What makes panel interviews so effective?

1. SPEED.

In the world of supply chain and logistics there is a real talent shortage, multiple organizations wanting to hire the same people. Once you have a great candidate, you need to move quickly to hire them before someone else does! Panel interviews allow you to get opinions from several key staff all in one interview, rather than a series of meetings spread out over several weeks.

2. MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES.

A panel interview allows you to involve people in the interview who may not normally have the opportunity to meet candidates. Bring in someone from finance, someone else from IT, a couple of peers to the role, and let them ask questions as well. You may be surprised by the different perspectives you can gain.

3. INCREASED CANDIDATE ENGAGEMENT.

In a series of individual interviews, interviewers often ask the same questions as previous interviews, and candidates may become disengaged if they have to repeat themselves. In a panel interview, interviewers can get creative and build on each other’s questions.

So why doesn’t every company use panel interviews as a core part of their hiring strategy?

1. COORDINATION. It’s never going to be easy to find a time in 4-5 peoples’ calendars when all are available, but it often just comes down to company culture. Is hiring a top priority in your organization?

2. INTIMIDATING. Experienced interviewers know that many candidates find panel interviews intimidating, and some organizations avoid them for that reason. But making candidates nervous is not necessarily a bad thing! If you want to see how someone handles a stressful situation, put them through a panel interview.

3. DIFFICULT TO GAIN CONSENSUS. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate. When you have several managers involved from different areas of the organization it will be almost impossible to gain consensus from everyone. It will ultimately be up to the hiring manager to make the final decision to hire.

Is a panel interview right for your business and for your current hiring needs?

They are an excellent tool for hiring certain types of roles, but they don’t necessarily fit every hiring situation. If you’re looking for the top talent in supply chain and logistics, send us a note or give us a call, we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.

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