Hire character. Train Skill.
I have seen this quote more times than I can accurately count over the last year or so. Character is important and not something you can teach. Finding someone who fits with your organization’s values and culture is equally as important and equally unteachable.
As our opening quote implies, your focus with respect to attracting talent should not be to duke-it-out, so to speak, over those who look good on paper. The goal should be to find someone who will enjoy long-term success by way of performance, by way of engagement, and by way of their (and subsequently YOUR) overall happiness. The goal is to find someone who better fits your organization rather than possesses the highest level of education or number of years of experience. To find the individual who best fits, you need to be able to communicate your value proposition and your culture…aka, your brand.
Branding in the area of talent acquisition is the same as it is in the area of marketing: an organization with a positive brand wields a competitive advantage. This involves an active social presence to communicate how your business operates, what you celebrate, what it is you do when you’re not working, and include your employee’s comments and feedback. It is this larger picture which job-seekers are interested in seeing and will research as they are considering working for you. Give people a chance to learn about your team.
Because this fit between the individual and the organization is so important, as you are now meeting with these same job-seekers, the questions you ask should focus as much on the job and the essential duties as it does on what drives and inspires the candidate. Gauge the questions the candidates ask and answers they provide as to their genuine interest and match with your culture. You are looking for the best person for the role and the organization. Conversely, the candidate should be deliberating just as diligently. Be wary if they are not.
In promoting the opening, be sure to include as much information about your organization’s culture and values as you do about the job’s functions and requirements. Beyond the objective assessment of whether someone possesses the required knowledge, skills, and abilities, should be the assessment of whether someone possesses the character needed of the job and is a fit for the culture of the organization.
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