I’ve just wrapped up recording a new course for LinkedIn Learning (available in Q2, 2023). The core theme of this new program is that by embedding post-hire success into the pre-hire sourcing and interviewing process it’s possible to attract and hire a different type of candidate. These are people who are more diverse, who have less traditional backgrounds, who are more focused on learning and development and who are more interested in long-term vs. gig employment. Achieving this goal requires a different process at every step from how jobs are defined to how candidates are onboarded and managed.

Moving Beyond the Traditional Transactional Hiring Model of the Past 20+ Years

I contend that we have cheapened work in an attempt to hire faster and at scale. It is now more impersonal, more transactional and more likely to lead to dissatisfaction, disappointment and unnecessary turnover.

The economic slowdown of 2022-2023 provides an opportunity to rethink the entire hiring process with the focus on making work more than just a means to earn a salary. Here are some ideas on how to get started.

  1. Focus on raising the talent bar vs. filling positions quicker. This starts with a new talent strategy based on attracting a pre-selected group of high potential prospects.
  2. Ensure more Win-Win Hiring outcomes. This means the hiring manager and new hire are as excited on the first-year anniversary date as they were when the offer was first accepted.
  3. Actually do DE&I. Let’s stop talking about it and start doing it. It starts by rethinking the job description.
  4. Use AI to only source semi-finalists. These are people who are top performers, open to look but not active, very discriminating, highly diverse and who will stay for at least 2-3 years if you challenge and develop them properly. (Here’s the live course and the online version. We’re now preparing a special course with SeekOut, so stay tuned!)
  5. Leverage your strongest recruiters. If your recruiters score at least 30 points on this competency model, have them train your hiring managers to interview and recruit semi-finalists.
  6. Add job branding into your postings and marketing messages. Job branding trumps employer branding and it’s the primary reason reason why the top 25% of candidates accept your offers. It starts by asking this question when opening a new requisition.
  7. Eliminate bias during the interview process. You can expose bias by having the hiring team formally debrief using this checklist after the interview. This step is essential with diverse candidates!
  8. Make team skills the new #1 competencyThis one question reveals why. Asking it also uncovers three other critical competencies.
  9. Embed onboarding and employee development into the hiring processThis is Q1-Q4 in the Gallup Q12 and Doerr’s OKRs.
  10. Finally, really make hiring #1. Just do it. Unless hiring managers are measured on how well they hire and develop their teams little will change.

When I first became a hiring manager, over 50 years ago, my boss told me there was nothing more important than hiring great people. Nothing. And he drove that point home in everything he said and did for the years I worked with him. It’s still true today, but somehow this important lesson has been lost. We have another opportunity in 2023 to find out how important hiring great people really is. Let’s not waste the chance.