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How to Find and Keep Top Talent with an Air Tight Hiring Strategy

Purging Fruitless Practices from Your Current Hiring Strategy

When it’s time to fill a position, the hiring strategy for most companies is as follows:

Step 1: Position Description

Develop a position description.

Step 2: Job Advertisement

Write a job ad listing technical skills.

Step 3: Match Experience

Match the candidate’s experience to a semi-utopian view of the job.

The sum of this traditional strategy is a hoard of unqualified candidates with a few possibilities mixed in.  Add to that the next time-consuming step of separating the wheat from the chaff and the hiring process can be both wearisome and fruitless.

The truth is, to find and keep top talent, most companies need to think beyond “job fit” alone.  A comprehensive hiring process takes into account the behavioral and cognitive function of potential hires before reading the first resume. In addition a solid onboarding program and self-awareness follow-ups ensure that once top talent is found, they will stick around.

Seven Steps to Infuse Into Your New and Improved Hiring Process

A proper selection process is just that: a process, not a single event.  These seven steps make up the basis for an air tight hiring strategy that will bring your company the top talent it deserves.

Step 1: Job Profile

Create a profile for the job. Ensure that all vested parties agree on the duties and responsibilities of the position. Also, everyone needs to be clear on the prioritization of those duties and which are most critical.

Step 2: Technical Requirements

List the skills, background experience, and certifications that make up the technical requirements.  List “have to have” vs “nice to have” qualities in the ideal candidate.

Step 3: Pre-Employment Assessment Part 1, Behavioral Profile

Before accepting resumes, help separate the right fit from the wrong using pre-employment assessments. Develop the desired behavioral drives for the position through proper use of an assessment tool like the Performance Requirement Option (PRO) or benchmarking top performers through group analytics.

Step 4: Pre-Employment Assessment Part 2, Cognitive

Part two of the assessment stage is to determine the desired cognitive requirements, or the person’s learning style and ability. Several instruments such as the Wonderlic test or Professional Learning Indicator are available to assess those areas.

Step 5: Interview

After you have determined the ideal skills, technical requirements and experience; use interviews to evaluate the individual’s fits and areas of potential challenges. A fit/gap interview evaluates the potential similarities or dissimilarities between the behavioral requirements of the job and the behavioral needs of the candidate. Conduct a behaviorally based fit/gap interview to target the areas of concern. Some people develop learned behaviors to overcome their natural styles.

Step 6: Onboarding

Inauspicious starts quickly lead to lack of engagement. Only about half of companies have an official onboarding policy. Those first weeks are critical, and should be structured. If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to create an onboarding protocol.

Step 7: Self-Awareness

A review of the person and the manager’s style should be scheduled early in the process.  How do the associate’s needs and the manager’s style fit?  How should the manager flex to the employee?  What does the employee need to satisfy their motivational style? How should they best communicate with each other?

Hiring Should Be More than a Coin Flip

The next time a position opens up in your company, avoid the traditional hiring trap and set into motion a selection process that ensures your successful candidate is more than just a coin flip. Deploy the seven steps and you will not only find top talent, employee engagement and job satisfaction will follow.

For more information or to access tools and services mentioned, reach out to a consulting firm trained in Predictive Index System.

Steve Picarde, Sr. is the President and founder of PI Midlantic, a behavioral and cognitive assessment consulting firm based in Annapolis, Maryland. PI Midlantic’s consultants aid businesses in hiring and with other stages of employee development using the Predictive Index System, Wonderlic test, and more. The firm is celebrating 30 years in business this April.

CEO Blog Nation

This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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