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Hire For Results

Start With a ‘Candidate Profile’ that Spells out Results

Job descriptions don’t always work to help identify and attract the right leadership for your company. Typical job descriptions define responsibilities and experiences as opposed to identifying the desired results or company goals. Once you align the results to the description, you will have a profile of candidates that will get you the results that you need.

In our search practice, we develop ‘candidate profiles’ to clearly define the required results, skills and accomplishments, and most importantly -- cultural fit. The profile spells out to new hires exactly what is expected of them; plus our clients know how to measure their success. It also helps companies stay within nondiscriminatory hiring practices, and ensures objectivity in the hiring process.


Crafting the Candidate Profile

There are 3 parts to developing the candidate profile:

  1. Determining specific results.
  2. Identifying experience patterns and skills that indicate that results will be achieved.
  3. Determining behavior patterns and characteristics of a candidate who will both fit your culture, and prosper in your company.


Determine the Results You Want

To determine specific results, talk with the candidate’s peers and superiors to find out what they think the candidate should accomplish the first year in the position. These results need to be measurable and specific, so they can be identified and agreed upon easily. Once you have this data, you need to synthesize it and get it down to 8-10 measurable items that everyone agrees upon. These items will help to develop the rest of the profile.


Identify Experience Patterns and Skills

To identify experience patterns and skills, look at the specific results identified earlier to find the types of accomplishments and experiences the candidate needs to have to perform to your expectations. Items that you might identify include: industry specific knowledge or relationships; proven ability to create specific revenue or cost cutting measures; degrees or advanced degrees; specific experience in a large company or startup environment. Keep this list to about 10 items.


Determine Behavior Patterns and Characteristics

Determining behavior patterns and characteristics is more esoteric. It requires taking an objective look at the organization and the people within it. Some companies have clearly defined culture and mission statements; this is where you could start. One might also look to the most successful people within the organization, and identify what traits do they have in common? How does work get done in the organization? What are the characteristics of people that you enjoy working with at this company (for example, integrity, honesty, self motivated, commitment to team)? You should keep this to around 10-12 items and keep this to behavior patterns that are "make it or break it" in your company.

Now you can identify which of these skills and attributes are absolutes; keep this to 3-4 items, per category. The other items will help you differentiate candidates from one another. In our search practice, we identify these items with a star, so that everyone is aware of what they are, and can stay on task to hiring winning teammates.


Be Sure Everybody Agrees

Before beginning the search, you should share the profile with the interview team to make sure there’s a consensus. If not, make changes and gain agreement before you start. Distribute the final profile to your team. Candidates can now be funneled through this profile and weeded out. Usually, phone screening narrows the candidate pool further. Have the team interview the final selections and evaluate candidates on the basis of matching to the profile. The best candidates always come out as you begin to eliminate those that are not appropriate. Remember, your ideal candidate is often not looking for a new position right now. You might need to sift through many before you get a few good ones. Watch out for managers who want to make sweeping changes to the profile. This is a signal that your management team is not in alignment with overall company goals and it would be hard to find any candidate that would perform well in those circumstances.


Dig Deeper for the Final Reference Check

After you have selected the final candidate, check one more reference. All candidates can give you references to check, but these are the people who will not give you the full story on the candidate. Always dig one layer deeper to find the complete picture. Ask the references for other people to speak with. It is important for you to know what management challenges you have ahead with this candidate, and you should find out what your candidate needs to be successful in your organization.

In summary, know what results you want before you go search for a candidate. Develop a profile that your hiring team can agree upon. Make sure you stay to the profile. Thoroughly check references. Our process has been proven time and time again, and is the best way to ensure success for your company’s future.

By Laura Raynak, Raynak Search



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