When creating a talent acquisition strategy it’s important to note that about 20-25% of those in the workforce are always actively looking for another job. This is the group companies need to target to fill open jobs as rapidly as possible. There’s another 20-25% who are always proactively passive. Don’t even attempt to contact these people unless you’ve worked with the person before. Given this, it’s obvious the candidates you’ll want to hire for your most important roles are in the other 50-60%. While this is the ideal talent market, these people won’t respond to your emails or calls unless you become an expert at passive candidate recruiting. This involves a number of critical skills, in particular:
The "Win-Win" Performance-based Hiring Articles, Insights and Podcasts
As a recruiter I abhorred the idea that an outstanding candidate for an important job was being judged by a person who wasn’t a very good interviewer. Sadly, after having debriefed over one thousand different interviewers, I estimate that about two-thirds fell short. And too often the assessments of those who were valid were overridden or discredited by those who weren’t.
I’m getting nervous with the proliferation of all of these AI-infused chatbots that will change life and work as we now know it. Some of them are wrong. Really wrong.
I think too many people including those in HR, OD experts, hiring managers and recruiters, believe being a good interviewer requires some remarkable insight into human behavior. I think they’re mistaken. There is an alternate path: being a good detective.
Having tracked the performance of thousands of senior professional staff and managers over the past 50 years it turns out it’s not hard to predict who will be successful. All you need to do is ask candidates to describe their major accomplishments most comparable to the key performance objectives (KPOs) of the open job. As long as you dig deep enough the factors shown below will pop out. Consistency is what matters, though, not one-time occurrences. This preview of the Sherlock Holmes deductive interview describes the probing needed to gather this information.
It turns out hiring people who will be in the top half is pretty easy. You just have to stop making hiring mistakes.
The other day a candidate asked me how to figure out if he was qualified for a new role given 15 years of experience with the same company.
It turns out that anyone can be in the top 25% with the right job, the right company, and the right hiring manager. But this is a rare event despite having spent $400-500 billion in job postings and HR tech in the past 25 years in the hope of matching the perfect job with the perfect candidate.
It turns out that hiring outstanding talent on a consistent basis has little to do with your ATS, which job boards you use or the quality of your competency model. The process shown in the image below (PDF version) will give you consistent great results as long as you do these four things first:
The traditional interview process has been shown to be unreliable in predicting job performance, often due to bias, lack of training and a focus on surface-level characteristics. The Performance-based Interview (PBI) is a natural language approach that seeks to assess an individual’s competency, fit and motivation by asking them to describe their past performance in specific situations. Studies have shown that the PBI is a more accurate predictor of job performance than other interview methods, making it a valuable tool for organizations seeking to hire the best candidates. Moreover, the PBI can be used to assess candidates at all levels of experience, making it an ideal method for career development and succession planning.
If you want to hire a great person, you need to offer a great job, not a laundry-list of skills, experiences and competencies that at best is no more than an ill-defined lateral transfer surrounded by some generic boilerplate. This is even more important today with candidates leaving within 90 days after starting if the new job turns out to be more promise than substance (Fortune, May 2022).
The worst question about career goals is something like, “What’s your major career goal for the next five years?”
While it’s hard to believe that a single hiring mistake could cost a company $400 thousand, it’s not so hard to believe when looking at this table showing the incremental profit contribution of employees at these well-known companies. The idea behind this table is that it shows the full financial and business impact a person has on a company, rather than just considering the person’s compensation package.
Few companies calculate the ROI of the effectiveness of their different sourcing channels but those that do discover referrals are the best with job boards generating more mistakes. And the cost of these mistakes is staggering wiping away the benefits of lower cost and speedier hiring.
Leverage: Getting more output with less input.
Leaders are force multipliers who get more done with and through people using some type of magical leverage.
As you’ve discovered if you’d tried to hire any senior level person, the process for hiring leaders for these critical spots is much different than hiring everyone else for this one simple reason:
Many years ago I worked with LinkedIn on preparing a video highlighting the importance of developing a hiring strategy based on attracting the best rather than one designed to filter out the weak. It turns out that without the right talent strategy it’s not possible to hire more leaders on a consistent basis. Chance, hope, the latest technology or job boards won’t help. While the message in the video is still true today, most people will have some Catch-22 excuse why it won’t work.
In a post earlier this year I claimed that too many people change jobs for all the wrong reasons. Most often it’s for the stuff at the bottom of the “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Hiring Needs” graphic above, rather than the stuff at the top. Unless they’re (very) lucky, the result is always disappointment, dissatisfaction and regret.