Hiring a Dream Candidate out of a Haystack
Hiring a dream candidate or finding a dream job has been like looking for a needle in a haystack. Neither side of the party can even really define what the dream is in the current hiring system. The way we currently go about hiring is overly complicated, time-consuming, resource intensive, and frustrating for both Talent and Employers. The more realistic, specific, and honest both sides are with what they want and what they can do, the more likely it will be to find each other.
Be simple. Stick to the classic 5w’s and an H: Who, what, when, where, why and how.
Who – Ask yourself, “what attributes am I looking for?”Attributes are elements of a person or companies character. Is the person friendly, direct, ball buster, etc. The employers have their own culture and brand and so does Talent. They each have the freedom to select the match that works best for them.
What – Determine what you need to be done and what can you do. Really, honestly, no fluff. If you are trying to add adjectives like "unique" and "amazing", you are still in La La Land. The employer needs someone to talk to customers, a Talent should indicate they can communicate verbally. There's no need to measure how good or great! or amazing or intuitive. Just the action. Talent, quit trying to fluff your resume when you just need to present your skills in a straightforward way.
Employers need to stop spending hours writing job descriptions as if they were romance novels – no one understands what you want. Simplify your message. And, please stop depending so heavily on resumes. They are slowing down your hiring process. Resumes and, frankly complicated job descriptions, are best suited for management and executive leadership of the business. Support roles and specialists can be greatly simplified. Focus on the skills you need when you are filling your job posts.
When – Deciding when things get done is a logistics fundamental. Everyone has a time condition. If the availability doesn’t match – nothing else matters. Besides just understanding schedule and due dates, employers need to do a much better job of figuring out the value of time and what time means to their organization in order to prioritize their hiring needs. Time impacts everything in your business. If you don’t figure that out, you are throwing money out the window in dump trucks.
A true time/value exercise includes criteria like wages, overhead, the cost of losing customers, missing deadlines, causing undue financial risk. Figuring out when someone works and the time/value is just the beginning. How fast you need them in the door? When they start working for you, how will they spend their time? Candidates will narrow to the best ones on those criteria alone. They may have skills you need but if they can’t agree to deadlines, measurements of success or start dates – it doesn’t matter.
Where – Working in an environment that makes us the most productive is critical to our contribution to the working world. Sometimes you must touch, interact and physically be in a certain location to do your job successfully. For those jobs, it’s important for the Talent and the Employer to know exactly what that space is before agreeing to the job. However, the jobs that use the internet and digital tools to be successful very rarely require you to be in a designated physical space. With the advances in hardware, software, productivity tools and little bots that can spy on your computer time, most digital jobs can be done anywhere.
Some employers have the notion that they must see the person in the dedicated workspace to know they are getting their money’s worth. That’s simply a control and perception issue of the employer. Think about how you're managing, the systems you use, and the tools at your disposal before you decide whether working remote, in-office or a hybrid of the two are good for each job.
Why – Why am I hiring? Why am I looking for a job? I am hiring a welder because I am anticipating a new contract. Or, I'm hiring because I'm spending too much of my time doing something that someone else can do better. Or, I need to hire because I am missing a skill on my team to get work delivered efficiently.
I am looking for a job because I need money; because I want to try something new; my boss is a jerk; I am bored; etc. The why is revealing because it helps you realize your objectives and priorities.
How – How does the work get done and how do I do this work - this is all about tools. You shouldn't be hiring if you don’t have the right tools to get the job done. Unless, of course, this person will get you the tools you need. Candidates need to own what they need to get their job done in order to deliver the skill they have.
By throwing out the resume and turning the job description into meaningful information, the odds of hiring the dream connection between the candidate and a job are more likely to happen. Match to your candidates based on skill and stop overshooting, overselling, and over-complicating the process. The dream will come.