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:
- Determining specific results.
- Identifying experience patterns and skills that indicate that
results will be achieved.
- 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
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
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