Safe to say, companies want to acquire the best talent who brings as much to the table as possible for a given position. To this end, it is appropriate and necessary to create a job specification that represents the ideal/perfect hire for your business. At the same time, it is important to be realistic with your expectations and be flexible to recalibrate the position requirements if necessary as pertinent information shows itself in the process. As you work to define the job specification, a management team needs to examine existing conditions and market variables (data) that could have an impact on the search. This data is critical in determining if the job specification is realistic. How you react to the data can determine your ultimate effectiveness in the search.
Proper due diligence prior to conducting the search is a smart practice. Knowledge about trends in your market, competitor data, compensation and where the talent sits geographically can prevent frustrations before they become realities. As an example, if your company requires a unique industry expertise for the role and your company is unique to a region for this industry, relocation is something that needs to be addressed prior to beginning the search. The management team needs to evaluate and prepare for a relocation package that will compel the right candidate to make the move to your city. If you are based in Cleveland and that talent pool is largely based in larger cities outside of this region, compensation and relocation become touchstones.
Ensure that you are utilizing the relevant data that you uncover in the search process and use that data to advance your search. Track things like response rates, salary data, bonus, medical premiums, org charts and even perspectives on your business that the sourced talent may share with you in the process. The answers to challenges in the search are almost always in the information collected if you pay attention. If salary data for the right talent is higher than your range overall, a decision has to be made on whether to upgrade the salary, downgrade the role or to continue to keep your fingers crossed in hopes that someone with the right background will actually fit your compensation range.
The candidates who make it into the interview process represent great calibration points. Actually assessing the talent in an interview can cause managers to rethink what is most important for their roles. It may even open their eyes to a new way to approach the talent need, causing the company to redefine the position. A test candidate can be the means to have a tangible that can be used to help build clarity and consensus specific to the role. Managers should have a level of patience with their human resources department knowing that the human resources person is not the expert in their functional area and despite a highly defined job specification, it still may be challenging to make the match. Managers should be willing to invest their time early in the process to assist human resources in focusing their search efforts.
Whether you are sourcing for a role relying on internal resources or utilizing a third party search firm, candidate flow needs to be tracked. If response rates and candidates moving into the interview process are low, one has to ask why and possibly adjust the strategy. Talent may be passive and not looking at a job posting, the internal recruiting staff may be overwhelmed or ineffective and/or the third party search firm may be missing the mark. The need for calibration can fall on one or more components of the process. Clearly, keeping your finger on the process and being flexible to alter the requirements and/or the search strategy based upon market variables and your process metrics can bring the search on track.
I heard it best from a CEO of one of our region’s major corporations. Perfection is the enemy of progress, meaning it is better to be moving forward at 80 percent than to be paralyzed waiting for 100 percent. I know that this person was not settling or advocating subpar performance. It is all about the moving forward and being able to see the true value in the 80 percent while recognizing other areas that may satisfy the 20 percent.
Chris Carmon is the founder and president of CGI (The Carmon Group, Inc.). You can find out more about CGI by going to their website at www.carmongroup.com.