For some hiring managers, an economic downturn can be an exciting time: there's a greater applicant pool, more interest in the positions offered and a greater number of resumes making it into their in boxes. However, this can be a bit overwhelming – especially because it's still essential to know how to hire the right person for the job.

Fortunately, the basic theory of how to hire the right person for the job does not change much in an economic downturn. Even though there are more applicants – more resumes to skim through and more interviews to schedule – there are key things to look for.

When it comes to how to hire the right person for the job, you'll find that there are a number of great tools at your disposal:

• Requesting specific information or formatting when you place the ad - “Submit a cover letter, chronological resume and three writing samples,” for example – will allow you to determine whether or not applicants are good at following directions. If you receive an experience-based resume, a letter of reference and no cover letter, you'll know that you can move on to the next applicant.

• Focus on those applicants who show an affinity for the position and who seem to know a bit about your company; those who have taken the time to research your company are likely to be more committed whereas others who send what appears to be a blanket cover letter addressed to “Whom It May Concern” (especially if your name and title are available) may not be the best candidate for the job.

• Your current staff. As a hiring manager, ultimately the decision about how to hire the right person is yours to make, however there are advantages to involving additional staff in the interview process. After all, those who are “in the trenches” are going to be able to get a sense of whether or not the person is a good fit for the team and the position in question.

The more that you are able to look beyond the huge stack of resumes that is threatening to take over your desk and to focus on your business, the better the position that you will be in. By making an effort to focus on more than just the response that you get to your hiring ad, the better the chance of bringing the right person onto the team.

When it comes to how to hire the right person, in other words, you are going to want to be sure that you are focused on the position and the company and finding those applicants that will be great additions to your team. Building a strong company, after all, is something that requires strong, committed workers who act as a team; when you hire a new person for the company – regardless the level of the position you need to fill – strengthening the team should be among your top priorities, especially in an economic downturn.

Copyright 2009, Cecile Peterkin. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin, a Certified Career Coach, Corporate Mentor and Speaker, helps businesses leverage the mind-share of retiring Baby Boomers and senior managers, and transfer it to the next generation of leaders with her ProMentoring program. For more information visit