Stop Finding, Start Hiring!

Here’s a radical suggestion: we’re spending too much time looking for candidates, and not enough time hiring them! Most eCruiting solutions are over-emphasizing the finding part ? and in the long run, this strategy will prove short-sighted. Hiring takes place in a small team environment consisting of the hiring manager, a few associates, someone from HR, and an internal or external recruiter. No matter what corporate solutions a company uses, hiring effectiveness will depend on how well this team does its job. Hiring solutions must be designed from this team orientation. The industry has not come to this conclusion, yet. But it soon will. Here’s why: Companies of all sizes have a big problem. It’s now harder than ever to hire strong people, even with the rapid growth of eCruiting sites. The sheer number of sites is one cause. There are too many steps and too many conflicting options. A strong economy aggravates the problem. Even if projections of slower growth materialize, demographic trends indicate a long-term tight labor market for top people. The Internet has perpetuated the increase in turnover, adding to the lack of available talent. The available hiring solutions do not address the real problems of the hiring manager. The eCruiting market is fragmented. It’s now apparent that Phase I (job boards) were less successful than promised. One reason is that job boards focus first on matching candidates with jobs, and second, on managing and sorting data. These systems weren’t designed with the objective of hiring top people. Phase II is underway?combining boards, applicant-tracking systems (ATS), new ways to find passive candidates, and off-line search capability. However, these changes won’t affect the challenge of hiring top people. While there are too many unqualified candidates responding to ads, better filtering won’t solve the problem of hiring top people, either. The wrong problem is being solved. If you want to get serious about solving the real problems with hiring, a new perspective is necessary that gets the line manager involved in the hiring process from beginning to end. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> The P in POWER-Hiring stands for Performance Profile. Our first law is simple: “If you want to hire superior people, first define superior performance.” It’s what candidates do with what they have that determines success, not what they have. Every job has 6-8 of these deliverables that determine job success. We call this list of deliverables a performance profile. It’s up to the hiring manager to prepare the performance profile before any search is started. Once in hand, the whole dynamics of the hiring process changes. When you prepare a Performance Profile together, you get everyone on the same page. This is key. Traditional approaches cause polarization. The line manager has an idea about what the person on the job is expected to do, but?instead of describing the real work?uses skills, duties, responsibilities and academics as a substitute. The person trying to find the person is now using the wrong target. HR is also somewhat in the dark. If they give it to an outside recruiter to fill, it again loses in the translation. Frequently, the outside recruiter is not allowed to even talk to the hiring manager for clarification. This is a setup for failure?since now no one is on the same page. It’s very difficult to get a top person to consider a job when the people charged with convincing this top person don’t even know the job. So all they can rely on is the good name of the company, high compensation and some hype. This is why everyone gets aggravated with everyone else. To solve this problem, have everyone involved in helping find this person prepare a Performance Profile together. Not only does this clarify the real requirements of the position, it gives the recruiting team a real shot at convincing a top person to consider this job. A job based on exciting objectives is much more interesting than one based on getting more experience doing the same things over again. The Performance Profile is also used establish a growth opportunity gap in the candidate’s current experience and in what he/she will learn, do and become. Candidates accept jobs on what they’ll learn, do and become?not on getting more of the same experience. The Performance Profile lets this message come across very clearly, while bringing all of the parties involved together in a very logical and important process.

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Lou Adler is the CEO and founder of The Adler Group – a training and search firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring℠. Adler is the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd Edition, 2007). His most recent book has just been published, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013). He is also the author of the award-winning Nightingale-Conant audio program, Talent Rules! Using Performance-based Hiring to Build Great Teams (2007).

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