It’s a party! How many people does it take for a hiring decision?

party interviewing group funnyWho really makes the hiring decision?

Many career advice articles focus on “the hiring manager” as though it is a single person who makes the “hire or not” decision.  All you have to do is impress that one person and you’re hired!

However, in  a 480-person Careerbuilder survey of professionals responsible for or involved in the hiring process, the respondents verified that it takes a “small village” to make a single hiring decision.


  • Almost 1/3 of the survey respondents involving in the hiring process indicated that it required 4 or more people to make the hiring decision.
  • For 58% of hiring managers, 2-3 people were involving in making the decision to hire.
  • 9 out of 10 hiring managers felt that the right balance of education and experience was the most important criteria in evaluating candidates.
  • Fitting into a company’s culture is important to 84% of the respondents.
  • 78% of hiring managers indicated that they spend both time and effort in screening resumes sent to them by HR. Once screened, 55% felt the candidates provided by HR were well-qualified; however, 17% disagreed about the level of quality.

What’s the impact on job-seekers?

The good news is that if you don’t “connect” with one of the people who interview you, it’s O.K because se there are others involved in the decision. The bad news is that you have to positively interact, connect and make a strong impression on more than one person. How can you do that?

1) Pay attention to the “fitting into the culture” statistic above: 84% value a future employee who gels with the company culture. So watch for cues and clues. What actually IS the culture there? Recognize that “culture” will be defined differently by individuals in the organization. Watch what their offices look like, how people interact, what seems to get rewarded, and how directly people answer your questions. culture pieces puzzle king money

2) Treat everyone you meet with the same level of respect and warmth. Thank all those involved in the interview process personally, even if what they did to help you wasn’t very much at all.

3) Get the scoop on the interviewers and hiring professionals from those you meet along the way. People love to make observations and give you tips on their co-workers. Asking, “I’m interviewing with Bob next, what’s he like?”can reap a huge benefit for a strong first impression when you do meet Bob and have to answer his questions.

4) Bypass Human Resources and figure out how to get your resume directly into the hands of the hiring manager. If 17% of the hiring professionals aren’t happy with the candidates that HR selects for them, that is a huge opportunity for a qualified candidate to jump in there first. Since there is a time gap between when a department gets approval for an opening, and when the selected candidate resumes are presented, you could land in a hiring manager inbox and get considered before anyone else!


  1. Great blog post! Very interesting and informative. Really important to be proactive in meeting several people at company before/during interview and getting your resume into the right hands. Great advice! Thank you!

  2. This is great for those looking for a job or those thinking of looking for one in the future! Thanks for letting us know what you know on the subject. I had no idea it took more than one person to make a hiring decision!

    • Job Search Trainer says:

      While it can be scary when you think of a “group”, it also can make it easier because the odds are you will “click” with one more than others! Thanks

  3. Thanks for sharing this article. This is very good to know seeing as how I may be reentering the workforce after being a SAHM for that past 8+ years. Thanks for the insight on this. I guess I always knew that there was more than one person making the decision because I had to do multiple reviews for every job I’ve ever had, but I didn’t know there were that many in the equation. Thanks again for the article!!!

  4. Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity
    in your post is simply great and i can assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

    • Job Search Trainer says:

      Great!!! I try to keep up on the field and seek out other experts to sharpen my skills. I try and distill it into easy-to-grasp concepts and real-life examples to make the points. I want job seekers to have POWER!!