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Why Hiring Fails

I recently had the pleasure of attending an all-day Success Factor Methodology™ training by IMPACT Hiring Solutions. We focused on two crucial parts of the recruiting process: job descriptions and interviewing.

It’s safe to say that after attending this session, my mind was blown!

Our instructor, Brad Remillard, pointed out that the reason why hiring fails is because it’s all about the candidate, not the job. Since I just finished recruiting new team members for my department, this resonated with me big time.

Just like most of you reading this blog, my first step was to write candidate-centric job descriptions — how many years of experience I wanted, what kind of skills they should have, and so forth. I made assumptions that their PAST experiences would translate into success for the positions I was hiring for.

During the interviews, I dug deeper into their PAST and then I TOLD them about our company and the positions. Then, I asked the other interviewees what they thought about the candidates.

It turns out I was doing it all wrong!

Job Description Tips
The traditional way that most of write job descriptions connects us with the least qualified candidates because we say things like “minimum of 5 years of experience required.”

Instead, most job descriptions, especially those for managers, should SOAR:

O – Describe the OBSTACLES the candidate will need to overcome.
A – List what ACTIONS need to be taken.
R – Describe what RESULTS are required.

Example of a SOAR job description:

  • Demonstrate mastery of software, content, and processes to peers in a demo or presentation format within the first 30 days.
  • Within 1 business day of receiving a client question, provide an initial response back to him/her.
  • Receive a customer satisfaction score of greater than 75% on quarterly client survey.

But, the catch is that you should never post these success factors or a job description anywhere. Instead, what the Success Factor Methodology™ teaches is to describe the job in terms of the opportunity it represents for the candidate and to sell why your organization is great to work for.

More Productive Interviews
It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that ALL candidates embellish their skills and experiences during interviews. The solution is to learn the art of probing. You want to give candidates permission to talk about their role specifically and what they did.

During our training, we paired up with another coworker. One of us played the interviewer and the other person portrayed a candidate. We were instructed to talk for 10 minutes about one question: “Can you give me an example of a difficult project you worked on?” As the interviewer, we had to keep digging for more details to understand precisely how the “interviewee” executed and obtained the result.

  • Listen for the word, “we,” in candidate answers. What was his/her role?
  • Include more questions that assess the candidate’s fit for the position
  • Do a gap analysis between where they’ve been and your organization
  • Consider having the candidate draw an org chart of their current employer’s structure

Naturally, I can’t give away IMPACT Hiring Solutions’ trade secrets. If you’re having trouble finding the right candidates for your organization, it may be a sign to try some different approaches and this type of training could help.

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Jill Schaefer

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