Hiring top talent requires an investment of time and energy, but finding the perfect candidate can make all the difference between stagnation and advancement. Thought leader Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group, a sourcing and recruitment company, shares some insight into finding top talent.
Looking in All the Wrong Places
The first step in recruiting top talent is looking in the right places. In general, prospective employees fall into one of four groups.
- The Known: people you know personally. If the job is similar, interviewing accuracy is high and the process is quick. The result, however, is often less than positive as these people often get the job for the wrong reasons and are therefore not the best candidates for the position.
- The Semi-Known: people well-known by the people you know. By taking recommendations from people you know well you are likely to find top talent and trustworthy employees. This sweet spot comes with a drawback, however, as you will likely need to recruit these people from their current jobs.
- The Less Well-Known: people who are well-know by someone who you could get to know. These connections, while somewhat weak, open a huge hiring pool. Hiring from this group requires carefully collecting referrals and then recruiting.
- The Unknown: people who are not connected to you in any way. Those in this group present many unknowns. Hiring from this group requires thorough interviewing in order to convert an unknown quantity into a known.
Converting the Unknown into the Known
Regardless of which of those categories a candidate falls into, conducting a performance-based interview that digs into a prospective employee’s past shows important characteristics that indicate whether they will successfully fill the demands of the position.
- Step One: Create a performance-based job description that includes the performance objectives that the job demands.
- Step Two: Define the process necessary to reach these objectives.
- Step Three: Ask candidates to describe their past accomplishments and their own process of success.
The interview must therefore prompt the prospective employee to describe accomplishments comparable to the job objects outlined in Step One. In order for the interviewer to understand exactly what the candidate has and can accomplish.
Adler gives the following advice: “ask the candidate to be specific giving dates, measurable details and the actual results achieved. Then start at the beginning of the project and find out the candidate’s actual role, the planning process used and how the plan was kept on track.” He also suggests including questions that “describe the environment…the hiring manager’s style…the pace…and how well the candidate adapted to these circumstances.”
Acquiring top talent stems from looking in the right places and converting unknown quantities into known. Investing in this process leads to new advances for your company as talented and experienced employees reach for new growth.
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