5 Steps to Hiring the Right Talent

A cartoon shows a blindfolded man playing a version of pin the tail on the donkey as a way to select talent

As you purposefully build your company and your corporate culture, selecting the right talent—the talent that fits the job and your organization—is critical. Fortunately, done right, the selection process is far more rational and strategic than the blindfolded method in the cartoon above.

Make these five steps part of your talent management process to hire talent that fits:

  1. Conduct a Job Analysis
    Before you begin your search for the perfect candidate, you need to do some careful thinking. Just what competencies are needed to succeed in the job you are trying to fill? You should come up with a targeted list of the knowledge, skills, motivations and competencies needed to perform the job successfully in your unique workplace culture.
  2. Prioritize the List
    Review the competencies with the specific job in mind and determine which are most important for the job, your corporate culture and your business strategy. Certainly, it’s always great to have someone who can be a team player but, if you are hiring for a sales position, it may be more important for them to be articulate and self-motivated. Someone who works best in a structured environment would not fit well in a more loosely configured organization.
  3. Include Metrics
    Set up a way to objectively evaluate a candidate’s level of competency in the categories you have chosen as important. A pre-hire assessment can quickly weed out unsuitable candidates. Dig deeper during the interview process. Train all your hiring managers and interviewers in behavioral interviewing so they can ask questions and probe for the specific competencies you have decided you need in each particular job. Behavioral interviewing not only provides a structured, more objective approach to assessing applicants but also establishes a process for better predicting a job candidate’s future performance on the job. Choosing the right talent then becomes a structured, methodical, more objective approach to assessing each candidate’s fit, not a popularity contest.
  4. Make the Decision
    Gather the interviewing team together and assess each candidate vis-à-vis the job profile and competency priorities. Use some sort of balance sheet to look at the pluses and minuses of each interviewee. Do you have enough information to make the selection? If not and there’s sufficient interest, call the interviewee back for another round. But, whatever you do, don’t settle. You may be under some time pressure to fill a slot, but just think of the time and money you’ll lose if you select a less than “A” player.
  5. Make the Offer and Bring the New Employee On-board
    Hopefully you have done a good enough job throughout the interviewing process that your offer will be accepted eagerly. If you have made your criteria for hiring clear, if you have accurately described your culture, and if you have presented your company’s mission and values in an honest and compelling way, you should have a new employee who is well suited to the job and the organization.

Now don’t lose the optimism and excitement. Make those first few months of new employee onboarding full of learning opportunities and set out a plan for your new employee’s future development that will keep them learning and growing. Top talent wants challenges and a clear career path ahead.

Hire your talent carefully. If you believe as we do that a company’s employees can be its competitive advantage, the right talent will carry you and your organization far.

To learn more about hiring top talent, download Interviewing: The Most Flawed Process in American Business

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