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The Hiring Mistake Most Every Company Makes
Published Thursday, January 12, 2017
by Alexandre Pachulski

There is a mistake so common in hiring practices that most companies don’t even realize they’re making it. In many cases, they’re simply doing what they’ve always done.

See if this scenario sounds familiar:

Your company experiences some sort of change in business—maybe sales increase or someone resigns—and then management works with the HR team to determine which positions need to be filled. Job descriptions are posted on relevant websites or submitted to recruiters. Perhaps there is an internal announcement and invitation for current employees to apply if they’re interested. In other words,  the company sets out lures and waits for potential candidates to bite.

Then HR or managers collect resumes, manually sort through them, arrange interviews and juggle schedules. The more skill required for the job, the more time the hiring process is likely to take. Your business, however, still demands what’s needed, so they have to find ways to adapt until the right person is found. It’s often stressful. Sometimes, it takes so long to find the right person that they end up compromising on a “good enough” person—just to fill the role and be done with it.

This is a story we know all too well. For many, it’s simply the way it works. But there is a better way.

Scout for talent all the time, not just when you think you need it
Be proactive—not reactive. Instead of focusing on skills specific to a role, know what qualities and characteristics are important to you. For example: At my company, there are three things all new hires must have:

• A natural fit within our culture;

• A passion for the work they do

• A willingness to take risks for the sake of growth and innovation.

With that in mind, we have an awareness that helps us recognize anyone, at any time, in any context, who has potential to be a great fit.

Entrust all employees to recommend talent, not just management or HR
Your employees are your best ambassadors: They know your business, your culture and who would be a great fit. They should be at the heart of your recruitment efforts. Encourage them to not only share opportunities with their networks, but also to recommend talented people they think embody your company culture. Data also shows that a strong referral process can save significant money, onboarding time and better retention.

Have a standing invitation for people to apply
Always keep an open invitation for talented people to submit their resume and ideas as to how they’d like to bring value to your company. A truly talented person is always worth talking to and creating a connection with—you never know what could come of it.

Look beyond the resume
If you’re just evaluating talent based on their resume, you’re only seeing a fraction of the picture. What are they communicating to the world on their social media channels? What influence might they have built with their followers? What kind of leadership are they demonstrating? What endorsements and recommendations have they received on LinkedIn? Widen your view to see what value they currently bring. This is a great indicator of what they can contribute to your company.

Leverage integrated technology to collaborate and nurture a talent database
Stop using disconnected methods, like paper files, excel spreadsheets or even standalone software designed for HR use to manage your talent. They aren’t conducive to collaboration.

This evolution of hiring talent will seem like a revolution for many companies. Maybe even for yours. I won’t pretend that this process is easy or something that can be done overnight. But I also won’t pretend that you can afford to keep doing what you’ve been doing. The evolution in hiring practices will move forward with or without you. So why not embrace how much better your hiring process can be?

Alexandre Pachulski serves as the Chief Product Officer at Talentsoft. He has more than 10 years of double expertise in HR and IT and the author of several books on HR themes and has a blog dedicated to Talent Management. He holds a Doctorate in IT with a thesis on the identification of key competencies within a company. He has a Master's Degree in Artificial Intelligence "Mathematics, Information Technology, and Applications in Human Sciences.

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