— August 19, 2019
Hiring…talent acquisition is in a perpetual state of handicap.
If you were new to recruiting-hiring and took a moment to scan the breath of recourses available, it’s likely you’d be completely overwhelmed. Getting a grasp on effective hiring can turn into a continual game of chasing a rabbit down a rabbit hole…not quite knowing where you’ll end up…just crossing your fingers the route you’re taking will get somewhere close to where you’d like to end up.
As someone who’s been in the space of talent management for over 20 years, spending my early days as a recruiter at a INC 500 boutique recruiting firm in Chicago, I’ve seen the evolution in the hiring industry to the point where I think it’s become complicated and excessive. Hiring just does not have to be that involved and complicated. I know it can be done quicker and better.
Here’s Why – Breaking it Down
Let’s consider a different approach. Let’s look at recruiting through the lens of human behavior – doing so provides needed clarity and refreshing simplicity. Here’s what I mean.
When looking to hire, what you are ultimately looking for is a behavior that achieves a desired result. You’re looking for behaviors that are driven and shaped by a knowledge base, thinking, emotions, attitudes, capacity, aptitude and experience (which we assume develops skills. By the way this is not always true – experience does not necessarily equal competence).
When you adopt this point of view, you’ll begin to first of all read a resume very differently and hopefully draw the same conclusion I have over the years. Many people can do many jobs, with the exception of very distinct technical knowledge and/or capabilities (and even some of those can be acquired over time).
What does this mean? Many recruiters and hiring managers have overlooked many people they could have hired and done certain jobs perfectly well…saving tremendous amounts of recruiting time, money and aggravation.
This principle is another reason why some hiring managers use pre-hire behavioral assessments utilizing a great foundational principle – hire the best behavioral fit.
What does this mean? Another way I like to term it is – natural vs needed. If you can match the needed behaviors (skills, capabilities etc. reflected in the job description) with what is most natural – (or preferred behaviors) the newly hired employee would quickly and easily contribute at a high level with little ramp-up time. (I like to use contribute vs. perform).
Natural implies easy, less effort (effort-less), automatic. The added bonus?... in many cases when something is natural and easy, it’s more enjoyable.
A couple of good interview questions to flush this out might go like this:
> “Looking at your resume, what activity do you do with the least amount of effort (or feels effortless)… or enjoy most (and/or) to the point you’d do it whether paid or not?”
> Is there anything beyond your resume that you truly enjoy doing?
Pay attention to 2 key hiring elements here – natural and most enjoy. This is way beyond just “can you do the job”. Keep in mind the fact that some folks have been doing jobs for years they don’t necessarily enjoy. Do you want to hire someone like that? They could be very skilled at being miserable.
If someone naturally enjoys doing something, they will be naturally motivated to do so and will require less external management to do it. This is key!
Motivation is an incredibly valuable “human resource” and one that is most challenging with managers. In almost every management training I’ve ever conducted, motivating employees was the most popular frustration point expressed. This frustration could be greatly minimized with a more sophisticated approach to hiring.
The natural vs. needed point of view comes not just from my expertise related to human behavior in business, but also the many years spent as a career coach – particularly helping folks through a career change.
My friend Sue is a perfect example – frustrated with teaching, she was ready to do something different. One of the self-assessment exercises I took her through was looking at areas of her life for which she was known for something – aka – did naturally.
Something dramatically stood out. In our group of friends, she was known as the go to person for getting sound advice. She was a great listener and regularly shared sage wisdom and being with her was like snuggling up with a warm blanket – you felt safe, secure and loved.
Knowing Sue, she has that kind of natural personality. She loves helping people by way of listening, enabling them to feel safe so they can open up to levels needed to sort through their thinking as they address life concerns.
What does this sound like – counseling! Yep, Sue is by nature a natural counselor. Throughout her adult life, she’s been doing it exceptionally well and not getting paid for it! She made the transition and now has a thriving practice in the Chicago area.
In summary, her natural met what was needed and she is now highly successful, she thoroughly enjoys what she’s doing and her clients just love her!
You know, everyday better hiring matches could be made simply by using a refined hiring lens. I’ve decided to teach folks how to do this by creating a course entitled: Hiring Beyond the Job Description. It’s in the works and will be released this fall. Drop me an email if you’d like to be notified when it’s released: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s part of my main business and management development offering The Executive Advantage Blueprint for Smart Management.
One final note: If equal emphasis and commitment (financially and otherwise) was placed on developing competent managers and management, there would be less need to obsess over hiring “the perfect person”. Both can sabotage a great hire!
Final financial and operational advice – match natural to needed and support that hire with great management!