Adopt a “success profile” strategy to attract and retain talent in today’s tight job market

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Attracting the right talent is a critical task that virtually every business engages in at some point. Part of that challenge is choosing the right cultural fit, as well as technical skills, but success isn’t just about good recruiting; job performance can also make or break a business, and one can never ignore the importance of employee retention. (Too often, this last factor is overlooked, but it has a substantial impact on the ROI of the previous two.)

The human element in the world of work is the engine of growth and advancement. So, if we can agree that talent sourcing is critical, why do we still see outdated, rigid, and flawed practices when it comes to the three aspects of staffing mentioned above? The recruiting process seems to be broken on both sides: employers aren’t doing it right and neither are potential candidates.

To get started, let’s look at talent acquisition, which on the candidate side starts with a resume. It’s your personal presentation, your sales pitch, but it’s scanned for an average of just six seconds, and executives have a very low tolerance for a poorly written and/or poorly administered resume. As a business owner myself, I can confirm that it is very easy to spot when a standard template is used by a candidate, for example. Many graduates entering the market use the same “free” templates provided by their schools’ career departments – similarities in layout and terminology that cause the resulting applications to merge into one. As a business owner with hiring needs, it’s essential to convey to candidates the importance of not using templates – to stand out from the crowd early on.

However, the fault certainly does not lie entirely with the candidates; after all, they are just following widely accepted recruiting rules. The biggest mistake in the process often starts with the job/employment description (PD) posted by employers.

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The standard recruitment process

Companies often use the same model concept for PDs. These are stored in a file, pre-approved and ready to use when needed, and their structure follows the same prescribed format that most businesses would use. For convenience, these templates, reviewed by recruitment firms, are slightly modified, and then a DP is used to fill the corresponding vacancy. Essentially, employers and staffing firms follow the exact same process as the resume template, a process that is fundamentally flawed and just doesn’t work. Then, after a position is posted online and HR/recruiters tap into their networks, they bemoan the lack of suitable options. If by chance some resumes are selected for screening, you often end up wondering if the person even read the PD before applying.

By using this approach, recruiters are self-sabotaging their talent acquisition, but the damage doesn’t end there. Workplace performance is also affected, as it is very rare for employees to remember all aspects of the DP they were recruited on, let alone let it help pave the way to success as they go. . It’s no surprise, then, that retention is hampered by a discouraged, disengaged, and underperforming workforce.

There are many other contributing factors at play here, of course, but prevention is better than cure, and so PD in this setting should come to a screeching halt.

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Success profiles are a solid alternative

In my experience, the answer lies in success profiles. We have been advocating this methodology for some time now and have accumulated an abundance of success stories. The key point of distinction is that instead of primarily looking at what people have, we look at what they do with what they have. We watch cheeky. For example, we’ll ask a candidate, “If you were to be promoted in 12 months, what would you have accomplished by then?” This way, we not only speak and demonstrate what success means to the business, we build a roadmap for them – we literally set people up for success.

It sounds obvious, but comparing a completed Success Profile to an old-school PD is comparing chalk and cheese. Benefits of the former also include a more precise definition of success in a position, including key role objectives. These should be presented so clearly that hiring managers and candidates should be able to recite them at a glance.

Next is the workplace performance aspect of success profiles. I find it best not to overload them with generic needs, wants and demands, which are often a quagmire of “in” business terms of the day (including “collaborate”, “facilitate” and all the other “ates”). They are non-memorable words with no impact or emotion, and basically do not generate results.

Instead, goals should be dissected into clear, succinct actions, complete with delivery deadlines. It’s the “paint by numbers” of career success, and just like a winning resume, it should be transparent, ambitious, positive, and momentum-building. As a result, emotion is created in the right candidate, who will know exactly what they need to do from day one, as well as any major challenges expected.

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A good success profile instills confidence in the hiring process — adds much-needed competitive advantage — and that confidence transcends to the new hires themselves. They’ll know you’re the employer of choice when they compare your success profile to other generic PDs. Additionally, it will reinforce synergy with company-wide objectives and key results, which are increasingly essential among forward-thinking organizations that understand the importance of departmental performance.

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