Hiring well in local government

All great organizations have one thing in common... they hire smart, good-fit candidates onto their teams.  While easily said, hiring can be a stressful and challenging.   In this LeaderGov blog we'd like to share six ideas to help you supercharge your hiring processes.

  1. Hiring Process Input - Do you have a team of people interview each of your final 2-3 candidates or do one or two people do all the interviewing?  We'd recommend that you have up to 5-7 people interview the final 2-3 candidates so you get a well-rounded view of the person.  Making those interviews 1-on-1 also allows each person to get to know the candidates in a more informal setting versus a large room with five people interviewing one person at the same time.  Talk about stress!
  2. Reference Checks - Although this is a basic idea, we usually see that these calls are to mainly check on skills.  We want to encourage you to probe not only for skill capacity but ask questions about how they responded under pressure and how they demonstrated being a team players.  You can even ask questions to get a sense for their level of Emotional Intelligence (EI).   Email us and we'll send you a list of EI questions if you'd like them. 
  3. Candidate Relationships - It's super hard to hire someone and be confident in your choice when you've only known them for 15 minutes.  We recommend that for your last 3-4 candidates you spend time with them off-site to see how they respond in other social situations.  In a restaurant, for example, you can watch to see how the candidate treats the wait staff, a good indication of their servant leader tendencies. 
  4. Team Fit - Look at your existing team they will be a part of for strengths and weaknesses and look for candidates that can fill voids on the team.   You may have six "C-Style" process-oriented managers on a team and adding another "C-Style" may not add the most value or fit.  We recommend diversity of personality and strengths to keep the team balanced. 
  5. Promote Your Organization - Don't be shy about promoting your County or City and sharing what makes your team and culture great.  Candidates need to know what kind of team and culture you have so don't be afraid to show-off your strengths. Sell yourself well. 
  6. Consider Assessments - We recommend you consider using a hiring assessment to help you make the final decision.  Hiring assessments may provide insights that didn't come out in interviews.   Specifically, you may want to consider Wiley's "PXT Select" assessment that allows you to define the role of a job, then rely on the assessment to rate the person against the skills you desire. 

Whether you are replacing staff or expanding, the impact of a good or bad hire will have a lasting effect on your team and you.  Invest in hiring well and you will save your local government time, money and aggravation.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about our online leadership development workshop program, call or email us at: [email protected].


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