One Applicant Too Many The reorganization of the public health agency has resulted in the creation of a new position of community health liaison. A job description has been written, and the job opening has been posted. As the chief nursing executive of this agency, it will be your responsibility to select the best person for the position. Because you are aware that all hiring decisions have some subjectivity, you want to eliminate as much personal bias as possible. Two people have applied for the position; one of them is a close personal friend. Analysis Assess: As the nursing executive, you have a responsibility to make personnel decisions as objectively as you can. This means that the hiring decision should be based solely on which employee is best qualified for the position. You do recognize, however, that there may be a personal cost in terms of the friendship. Diagnose: You diagnose this problem as a potential intrapersonal conflict between your obligation to your friend and your obligation to your employer. Plan: You must plan how you are going to collect your data. The tools you have selected are applications, résumés, references, and personal interviews. Implement: Both applicants are contacted and asked to submit résumés and three letters of reference from recent employers. In addition, both are scheduled for structured formal interviews with you and two of the board members of the agency. Although the board members will provide feedback, you have reserved the right to make the fi nal hiring decision. Evaluate: As a result of your plan, you have discovered that both candidates meet the minimal job requirements. One candidate, however, clearly has higher-level communication skills, and the other candidate (your friend) has more experience in public health and is more knowledgeable regarding the resources in your community. Both employees have complied with the request to submit résumés and letters of reference; they are of similar quality. Assess: Your assessment of the situation is that you need more information to make the best possible decision. You must assess whether strong communication skills or public health experience and familiarity with the community would be more valuable in this position. Plan: You plan how you can gather more information about what the employee will be doing in this newly created position. Implement: If the job description is inadequate in providing this information, it may be necessary to gather information from other public health agencies with a similar job classifi cation. Evaluate: You now believe that excellent communication skills are essential for the job. The candidate who had these skills has an acceptable level of public health experience and seems motivated to learn more about the community and its resources. This means that your friend will not receive the job. Assess: Now you must assess whether a good decision has been made. Plan: You plan to evaluate your decision in 6 months, basing your criteria on the established job description. Implement: You are unable to implement your plan because this employee resigns unexpectedly 4 months after she takes the position. Your friend is now working in a similar capacity in another state. Although you correspond infrequently, the relationship has changed as a result of your decision. Evaluate: Did you make a good decision? This decision was based on a carefully thought-out process, which included adequate data gathering and a weighing of alternatives. Variables beyond your control resulted in the employee’s resignation, and there was no apparent reason for you to suspect that this would happen. The decision to exclude or minimize personal bias was a conscious one, and you were aware of the possible ramifications of this choice. The decision making appears to have been appropriate.