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:

  1. Replace your traditional skills-infested job descriptions with a list of KPOs that define success. This step opens the candidate pool to more high-performing and diverse talent.
  2. Capture the EVP (Employee Value Proposition) of the job in the first line of every message and job posting. This will help differentiate your job from the masses.
  3. Implement a talent strategy designed to attract the best rather than weed out the weak. The best people use a different set of rules to change jobs and accept offers.
  4. Spend at least 50% of your time getting referrals using LinkedIn’s powerful networking tools and your phone. This is how most of the best people change jobs.

It’s What People Do with What They Have That Determines Their Success, Not What They Have.

What does the person need to do over the course of the first year to be considered successful?

The root cause of most hiring problems is the continued use of job descriptions that emphasize skills, experiences, competencies and academic credentials. By filtering on these factors candidates who have a comparable, but different mix of skills and experiences, are automatically excluded. This includes all diverse candidates, those who learn more quickly and fast-trackers who are assigned bigger roles ahead of their peer group.

When the demand for talent exceeds the supply, you need to have a hiring strategy designed to attract the best, not one designed to weed out the unqualified.

A high-tech talent strategy designed to fill generic jobs with generic people won’t cut it if the best people won’t apply. This video made in conjunction with LinkedIn a few years ago describes this talent strategy problem and the excuses most HR leaders use to prevent implementing the obvious solution: design hiring practices by benchmarking how the best people change jobs and the reasons why they thrive once on the job.

This commonsense approach for developing talent attraction programs starts with the premise that a company’s hiring objective needs to be something other than filling jobs as quickly as possible with the best who apply or who respond to an email. Figuring this out starts by understanding the problems that need to be solved before implementing solutions. This, it turns out, is the biggest challenge of them all.