Finding qualified candidates is a challenge for many organizations. You’d think with the data and details, insights and intelligence available to recruiters today, finding the perfect candidates would be more accessible than ever. But as anyone who has struggled with turnover and poorer-than-expected performance can attest, the right talent remains hard to find.
So where do things go wrong? Why is identifying and hiring the best talent such a struggle?
Sometimes the recruiting process can be disjointed. Poor communication between hiring managers and the recruiting team, failure to collect feedback from key stakeholders, and a fundamental inability to predict candidate performance are just some of the challenges. But identifying the variables impacting your recruiting success is only part of the equation. You need to figure out what’s missing from your formula to solve the problem once and for all.
In this blog series, we’ll address the most significant problems in recruiting today and share insights on how to address them. Identifying the obstacles in your hiring process and the best practices for overcoming them are vital to creating a reliable strategy for hiring–and keeping–the best talent.
Problem 1: Uncertain hiring criteria
A typical hiring challenge is when the recruiting team advances a promising candidate, only to have a hiring manager lament that the individual isn’t who they’re looking for. This mismatch is typically due to a lack of agreement on the criteria for determining a candidate’s potential for job success.
A hiring manager may claim they need someone with a certain degree or particular experience. But if your hiring process is focused on a candidate’s resume rather than a thorough understanding of the job and the skills and knowledge required for success, you are basing your hiring decisions on keywords instead of performance predictors. Resumes are more a collection of titles, locations, and observations than a genuine, objective appraisal of the skills, potential, and drive required to be successful on the job. If you’re relying on resumes and self-reporting, you’re essentially hiring blind.
Begin with job criteria in mind
You can’t hire the right person for the job until you understand the situation. Uncertain hiring criteria can be remedied by objectively defining the requirements of a position through a comprehensive, multimethod job analysis. A thorough evaluation of job content can include job observations, as with focus groups of incumbents; a detailed review of job-related documentation, such as position descriptions and training materials; and interviews with relevant subject matter experts for insight into the demands of the position. Conducting rigorous job analysis also should include the entire range of stakeholders. Involving all recruiting, hiring, and onboarding teams will ensure everyone has the same criteria in mind when evaluating and advancing candidates.
Also be sure to measure the performance of people already in the role objectively. Evaluating and capturing performance in hard numbers draws a clearer picture of what qualities contribute to on-the-job success. And don’t forget to consider how the job may evolve and any trends that impact performance. Leaders with a vision for the direction of market forces and strategic initiatives can often anticipate how the future is likely to affect job demands and organizational needs.
The goal should be to recruit with one question in mind: Are we advancing the kind of talent that will excel in the job? When you can say yes with confidence and point to the objective measures that prove it, you will have solved the problem of uncertainty in your hiring criteria.