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Looking at Talent Acquisition through a Different Lens

We have all heard the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” For talent managers, the real struggle is in defining “beauty” (Talent) for your organization and then developing methods for clearly “beholding” it.

To define the needs, job descriptions have long been the standard fare. These descriptions include bulleted lists of educational requirements, skills, tasks, etc…

Traditional methods for identifying talent include a set of lenses through which candidates are evaluated. These lenses include education, past work history and certifications to name a few.

The process involves matching incoming resumes and interview results against the job description. Now ask yourself, why employee acquisition and retention are a challenge in today’s organizations.

Perhaps the current set of lenses used to evaluate talent aren’t capable of seeing below the surface. Resumes can be professionally written and interview skills can be coached. How do I know what that shiny red apple is like on the inside?

There is another lens, an x-ray lens if you will, that can help you identify the quality of your candidates below the surface. This lens is business passions. Every employee has a deep set of interests from which they derive pleasure and energy on the job. (Yes, I said derive pleasure in the same sentence as job 😉 ) Research (Click here to see the work of Butler and Waldroop in HBR -1999) suggests a finite set of these identifiable passions. All your organization needs to do is identify which passions would serve the job/role best and assess your candidates for them.

While I make this type of change sound simple, it is not. It requires a lot of work for already heavily burdened HR and management teams. However, the costs of talent acquisition and on boarding practices are substantial. They may even be more costly when your new hire doesn’t stick around for very long because they do not enjoy their job. By reorganizing the hiring process to include the evaluation of passions along with your other surface scans, you should be able to reduce the associated costs of hiring.

If you would like to learn how we have helped in this area, please contact us.

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