Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Spreadsheet to help decision-making

Note: Corrected broken link to spreadsheet on Feb. 17, 2011.

Back in the late 20th century, my team and I needed to do a lot of hiring as I staffed up a call center. We needed to fill about 80 slots, so we had to interview a lot of people. This brought many challenges to the fore, such as:

  • How do you keep track of all of them?
  • How do you know which ones are the best fit for the job according to your selection criteria?
  • How do multiple people apply consistent evaluation criteria to the candidates?
  • How do you compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of candidates in an objective fashion?

...and so forth.

Recently, I had another multi-dimensional decision to make and  I was able to dig up an ancient copy of some Excel-based selection tools I developed over ten years ago. After some minor tweaking, they worked perfectly for my 21st century selection task. I decided to share the tools here in case they come in handy when you have multi-factor, multiple choice decisions to make.

The spreadsheet contains tabs with three different styles of selection matrices. Each one has different "features" so figure out which one fits your purpose and tweak from there. Basically, you decide the key factors or attributes you're evaluating, and the relative weighting of each factor. Input that stuff into whichever matrix you decide to use, and save it to a meaningful name.

Then, as you go through the selection process, score each person after you've interviewed them according to how well they compared to your ideal for each factor. At the end of the process, you can quickly and easily rank them based on the factors, or on an overall score based on the composite score from all factors.

These matrices can be used to help evaluate just about any multi-choice, multi-factor decision - not just hiring decisions.

You can download the spreadsheet here. (28.5K) (right click the link and select "Save target as..." or "Save link as...")