recruiting top talent: hiring for fit

By in Culture, Editor Picks, Leadership, and Talent Management
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We’re spotting a new trend happening among companies who want to hire the top talent: hiring for fit, not by resume. Companies, like Zappos, have completely tossed the old resume and job posting structure process. Other companies, like cool guys Stance Socks, are exclusively focusing on what a candidate can bring to the existing culture of the company, instead of a checkbox resume.

What gives? Maybe companies are figuring out that skills can be taught, but hiring a person who really fits into your organization, who understands your culture and company values, and is an intelligent candidate, is just a better way to hire. And could it be that when you hire for fit you get the best talent? The answer seems to be in the affirmative. The best hiring managers have hired for fit all along. They are the ones who build teams with lower turnover and better work product. I’ve put together a few ways that you can do the same.

  • Use a resume only as a basic tool, like a calling card. A resume can only tell you so much about a person. You can get a sense of the kind of career path a candidate has taken, but stop using a resume as the end-all-be-all of the interview process.
  • Cast a wider net. Recruit from pools you haven’t thought of before, like directors in unrelated areas and managers from different industries. Superstars can shine in many fields.
  • Look for outstanding people, not just box checkers. Identify a varied, diverse background that indicates a willingness and capacity for learning
  • Ask a candidate to design their own job and give you a job description (which will also give you an idea if they’ve done the research on your company)
  • Consider creating a job for a great candidate, because the value they can add is worth bringing them on board
  • Interview for values and fit. Consider the values of your company and communicate these to your candidate. Someone who understands your values, and agrees with them, will be a better fit.
  • Ask culture-driven questions, like how they handle work/life balance, conflict at work, or even their sense of humor.
  • Be willing to give bright people a chance.
  • Real talent have options. Be prepared to make your case for why your company is a fit.

Sometimes the best people can’t be put into a singular category, that goes double for top candidates who are passionately curious, dedicated, and active problem solvers. Those are the kind of excellent candidates that you’ll discover when you stop hiring by checking boxes and start looking at fit.

By carina wytiaz
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