Talent is one of the most sought after qualities whether you are a coach looking for your next athlete, a movie director looking for a lead, or a recruiter on a mission to fill a job. Though highly sought after, it is often an after-thought for many recruiters.
A majority of recruiters I’ve talked to sit down in a strategy meeting with the hiring leader and spend 75% of their time talking about the skills needed for the role – and the dreaded job description. Of course a candidate must possess the basic skills to do the job, however the true fit is about aligning the right talents (soft skills) to the company and department culture, not to mention the motivational fit of the person ultimately.
If a hiring manager is driving the conversation and they focus on the job description and requirements, take a leadership position and challenge them by redirecting the focus of the meeting to get the information you need to be successful in recruiting and closing the “right” person. Examples to discuss include interviewing your hiring leaders about the culture of the group, strategic goals and finding out what sets their top employee apart from others on the team.
In your search are you looking to check a box to simply finalize the task? Is it most important to fill the slot or find the best fit?
As a recruiter you’re an impact player, every day you affect the future of a candidate and the direction of a department. Passionate recruiters take this role to heart coaching their leaders and candidates through the process, often driving a different hiring result than the leader initially thought they wanted. Taking time to put the right people in the right role, (it sounds cliché) is one of the most important things you will do in your day.
As emphasized in the book First Break all the Rules by Marcus Bukingham, the concept is simply that you don’t change people. Natural consequences might help a person decide to change, but most behavior change in adults occurs at the margin. Hire for what you need – don’t expect an introverted technologist to excel at sales and don’t expect a highly social networker to sit quietly at a cube for days on end drafting reports.
Challenge yourself to take the word talent seriously and consistently ask yourself if you have hired the best talent aligned to the position. After all, your role is to be a talent champion and the word talent is in talent acquisition for a reason.