There’s a new way to hire that’s faster, efficient, and effective. Instead of waiting for the right person to show up, leadership cultivates talent and watches for the right job to show up. Rather than waiting until a seat is empty to search for talent, the search begins before that job opens. It requires that leaders plan ahead, lining up talented people before they’re needed. Everyone involved in employee selection—executives, hiring managers, HR, and recruiters—is part of an efficient process that fills jobs the day they become open.
How can your organization engage in the new way of hiring? Take these four steps.
Step #1: Take the emotion out of your hiring decisions.
Our emotions are an important part of being human, but they routinely compromise sound decision-making. This is especially true in the hiring arena, because leaders often choose the wrong candidates for the job when their feelings interfere with the selection process. For example, feeling comfortable with a candidate is a distraction that hinders one’s ability to determine if a candidate has the necessary traits to perform well in a job. Being at ease with a potential hire is great, but it can also undermine making a decision based on factual evidence.
Top leaders counter the emotional element in their selection process by relying on hiring profiles. Hiring profiles are blueprints describing who is the right fit for the job, and including all of the required attributes necessary for a candidate to be successful. Instead of relying on “gut” feeling, hiring managers use hiring profiles to swiftly make objective decisions based on facts.
Step #2: Cultivate candidates from multiple sources.
There are plenty of methods for sourcing good talent, including using job boards, going through your internal database of candidates, and of course, following up on leads through referrals. No one source can adequately supply your stream of talent. The leaders who swiftly fill their open jobs maintain a strong flow of candidates, generated by multiple sources of talent.
Each candidate resource ebbs and flows, so your access to talent will always be changing. To quickly fill jobs with the most talented people, be sure to have a talent pool made up of multiple sources. Most organizations find they need to draw job candidates from six to eight different streams of talent.
Step #3: During interviews seek proof, not promises.
In conventional interviews, candidates are always on their best behavior. They say what you want to hear, only share the best parts of their backgrounds, and make promises of how they’ll perform on the job. Unfortunately, these promises don’t always translate into quality work.
Seek proof that the candidate is a good fit for your organization. This is done through experiential interviews where the candidate performs sample work focusing on key aspects of the job. Have salespeople demonstrate how they sell. Ask computer programmers to write code. Require a customer service manager to solve a real business problem. If you watch carefully while candidates do the actual work of the job, you’ll quickly discover whether or not they fit.
Step #4: Always be interviewing.
Remember this truth about hiring: It’s not if a job is going to open up—it’s when. Ongoing hiring is a certainty, and top leaders and hiring managers plan for when positions will become open in their organization.
Companies that fill their jobs with ease and speed have made faster hiring a strategic imperative, and this initiative starts at the top. Executives should regularly interview top talent as prospective future hires. Senior leaders and other managers should do the same, following the example of their bosses. A few interviews each month will ensure that you always have people ready to hire, the moment a job becomes open.
A faster employee selection process will give your organization an edge over competitors who remain stuck in the hiring slow lane. They’ll have empty seats; you’ll have a full complement of talented people who do quality work. All because you’ve committed to speed up the hiring process.
Scott Wintrip, author of High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant, eliminates hiring delays by helping organizations implement a process to fill jobs the instant they become open. He leads the Wintrip Consulting Group, a global consultancy based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Scott’s also the author of High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant.