Selecting Talent for Potential

When we think about the #futureofhiring and how that should look for your organization, it’s important to think beyond the hiring one person for one open job. We spend time and money running assessments, conducting recruiter interviews, setting up interview panels and scheduling multitudes of people.  All of this to accomplish one hire for one job.

What are we really hiring for?  Shouldn’t we be looking at this candidate’s potential?  When a candidate decides to pursue a role with a company, they aren’t looking at one open position, they are looking at the company holistically.  Candidates make decisions based on whether this is a place they can grow, learn, and achieve their career goals or not.  Our hiring leaders are often only looking at whether they can do this job, rather than considering where this person may fit in the future.

Hiring for potential versus a specific job fit also impacts your diversity and equity objectives.  When we narrow our focus to the one open role, we often obscure the full scope of what this candidate brings to the “organization”. Your recruiting teams are thinking “what else could this person do? And if not this role, then what other roles would we consider this person for?” when speaking with candidates.  This is a standard practice amongst recruiters who are pipelining talent for the future. The challenge is how do we get leaders to see it that way too? Can we change the mindset to have leaders looking at a candidate in terms of this role and their next role?

We have inundated leaders with long and complex interview guides.  Our recruiters build standard interview guides for each member of an interview panel specific to that one job.  It takes hours to produce an interview package for each role, and yet they are infrequently used. So, your organization may have invested tens of thousands of dollars in a behavioral interviewing (BI) training for leaders, a database with thousands of competencies, or perhaps you’ve had an internal IO Psychologist build a BI package.  Whichever you can identify with, has it worked in improving diversity talent selection and quality of hires?

In my experience, this is not something we have measured with actual, quantifiable data.  Our interviewers ask the same questions to every candidate and we believe that this will make every interview equal. Ultimately, using the standard BI interview guides that are cumbersome, overly complex, and hard to follow, doesn’t get you to a candidate’s potential.

What 20+ years of BI has created is standard and what candidates are familiar with. Questions are posted online, and people can prepare their responses to meet what your expectations are.  We’re not saying that probing for someone’s previous experience and behavior isn’t the right thing to do, it is! Having said that, standardized multipage interview guides make the interview about the scripted questions and answers instead of about the candidate’s actual capabilities.

How do you find the potential in your candidates?  What’s the best way to help your leaders make better talent selection decisions? How are your assessing your employees and are you truly promoting the best person for the job?  We believe that the Future of Hiring is about asking relatable questions that help the candidate express their experience while highlighting their alignment with the organization’s values.  Our team is building the next big thing in interviewing and we look forward to launching it by Summer 2021.  Feel free to contact us for more information.