This blog post is brought to you MRA Global Sourcing

Hiring mangers stick to the script. When a position needs to be filled, they imagine the ideal candidate and post a job opening with that candidate’s description. Often times, the opening is only a slightly modified or even duplicate version of a past listing. As resumes fill the inbox, hiring managers filter applicants by the same conventional criteria. Candidates that check the most boxes and match the hiring professional’s background get called in for interviews. This old method frequently results in negative hiring outcomes. Intelligent and skilled candidates are not hired and often times not even interviewed. The notion of the right fit for the position stands in the way of the most ideal hiring outcome. Acknowledging this shortfall presents a great opportunity for enhancements to the job posting, screening, interviewing, and engaging of talent. Improving the internal skills to distinguish the best talent for the job, even individuals with abilities outside the exact hiring standards or with experience in another field, can be a tremendous advantage for a business.

Risk is to blame for sticking to the rigid, traditional model. Companies often times cannot afford have a new hire fail outright. Employees that best fit the experience and skills criteria may yield a suboptimal outcome, but their performance is much more predictable – complete failure is much less likely. Therefore, the difficulty in stretching the hiring boundaries is locating the correct fit even when the candidate’s resume falls outside the scope of the defined, risk-averse criteria.

In order to minimize risk with an expanded hiring horizon, four key actions must take place within the talent acquisition process. 

First, focus on the opportunity in each candidate. Try to extract the individual’s true personality. Skillsets, while essential, can be learned, but personalities often remain unchanged. The ability to perform well with coworkers and map social situations, or social intelligence, is a key personality trait to be uncovered. Avoid getting stuck on past work experience criteria. Instead, allow the hiring process to consider communication skills, critical thinking ability, and the “Big Five”, OCEAN personality traits.

Second, the quality and type of questions asked in interviews should be optimized. Standard questions should serve as a foundation open which less traditional questions can build. Greater understanding of the candidate’s cultural and working-style fit can be uncovered through more thought provoking questions than what is typically used in interviews. These questions can uncover which management style best fits the candidate and the alignment or lack thereof with current management should be clear.

Third, personal insights into the working environment should be provided by the interviewer to the interviewee. This assists both parties in determining if the individual or firm is a good fit. Being open and honest about both the positive and negative aspects of the company culture allows the candidate to open up responses and learn more about the company. A better connection develops between the interviewer and interviewee, so both parties can more clearly determine if the applicant will succeed in the company’s work environment.

Fourth, ensure all fundamental are covered. Covering every base is the most important step in deciding to send a job offer to an individual with less conventional work experience or education. The justification in terms of the business, the knowledge and abilities the individual can offer, and the likelihood of reaching the expected outcome should be considered.
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Carole Boyle

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