“There has never been a better time to hire people, but employers are taking too long and hiring the wrong people,” says Leadership Expert Roberta Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions, who helps organizations revolutionize their ability to attract top talent.
Top talent has started stampeding out the door.
“It’s like wildebeest crossing the plains. One begins the migration and the rest follow,” states Matuson, author of Selecting for Success: The Complete Guide to Hiring Top Talent and Suddenly in Charge , a Washington Post Top 5 Leadership Pick.
Twenty-two percent of small-business owners project increasing the total number of jobs at their company in the next year, according to a new Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index poll. Large companies, like Google and Qualcomm are currently trying to fill hundreds of job openings.
“We’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the number of companies asking us to help them accelerate their ability to bring in the top talent needed to fuel their growth,” she says. “To help our clients, we’ve produced a Special Report, ‘The Magnetic Organization: How to Attract Top Talent to Your Organization’ (http://ow.ly/9h5Ma). We reveal talent acquisition best practices that our most successful clients use and we explain how others can achieve the same level of results, regardless of budget,” she says.
Matuson notes that hiring is a two-way street, especially when trying to woo top talent. “Interviewing isn’t just asking questions and listening for responses. Hiring managers must be able to quickly assess candidates. Failure to do so can result in great candidates being hired out from under you by the competition. All hiring managers should be trained on how to interview,” she says.
Is it possible to avoid the following scenario? “How did I not see that coming? I spent three hours with this guy and I thought he was the one. My problem employee sailed through the interviewing process and left a lasting impression on all of us!”
“Absolutely!” exclaims Matuson. “Few managers enjoy interviewing. They enter the process with one goal in mind: to get the hiring process over with. Warning lights are going off about the candidate, but heck, no one is perfect!”
“The most important skill leaders need to master is the ability to select top talent,” says Matuson. “Do this well, and you’ll be freed up to bring in new business and increase profitability. Fail to master this skill and soon you may find yourself on the other side of the interviewing desk.”
Matuson recommends a refresher course in interviewing for those whose skills may be rusty.
Here are tips from Matuson’s playbook on Selecting for Success.
- Identify what you need before you begin the search. I’ve seen too many employers hire people based on a gut feel. They think this person can do the job, although they’ve never really defined what the job entails. Create an overview of what you are looking for before beginning the search.
- Hire for fit. You can train people to do just about any job, but it’s extremely difficult to change behavior. Think about the traits that your star players have in common. For example, do they take initiative? Do they work well independently? This will help you determine what you should be looking for in your new hires.
- Train hiring managers on how to interview candidates. It takes skills, practice, and patience to hire top talent. Make sure everyone involved in the hiring decision is trained on behavioral-based interviewing. Behavioral-based interviewing focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that are job-related. It is based on the belief that past behavior and performance predicts future behavior and performance.
- Be patient. My clients with workforces that are the envy of others all have one thing in common: Patience. Whenever assessing candidates they always ask, “Is this person good enough?” If the answer is, “No,” or, “I’m not sure,” then they pass on the candidate. Their patience always pays off. Hiring top talent is a skill that can be learned by anyone willing to improve on the way they’ve always done things.