RE­CRUIT­ING FOR A DIS­RUPTED WORLD

MARISA FONG AND GALIA BARHAVA- MONTEITH TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT IT TAKES TO RE­CRUIT THE RIGHT PEO­PLE IN THIS POST- IPHONE ERA. BE PRE­PARED TO LOOK AT THINGS DIF­FER­ENTLY.

NZ Business - - CONTENTS -

Marisa Fong and Galia BarHava-Monteith take a look at what it takes to re­cruit the right peo­ple in this postiPhone era. Be pre­pared to look at things dif­fer­ently.

I n this era of dis­rup­tion and change, how do you re­cruit for the fu­ture? Tra­di­tion­ally, peo­ple ref­er­ence past job de­scrip­tions (JDs) and those who have come be­fore – look­ing at those who have filled the roles, and what has been on their CVs. But it’s a new time – and a new time re­quires a new ap­proach.

It’s crit­i­cal to take a fresh, holis­tic look at a can­di­date’s back­ground. It’s about what a per­son has achieved, rather than who has em­ployed them be­fore. Where the fo­cus might once have been on how sim­i­lar their pre­vi­ous roles were to what you’re now look­ing for, it’s time to re­think – is that re­ally the best way of do­ing it?

Plenty of peo­ple – espe­cially women and those from di­verse back­grounds – haven’t nec­es­sar­ily fol­lowed a tra­di­tional ca­reer path. But they may have zigzagged their way to a must-have skill-set. You just need to look at things dif­fer­ently to see it.

TRA­DI­TIONAL RE­CRUIT­MENT PRO­CESSES = OP­ER­AT­ING IN AN ANA­LOGUE WORLD

The dig­i­tal boom meant re­think­ing the way we do so many things – so why would you keep your re­cruit­ment thought pro­cesses back in a pre-iPhone era?

We hear the same re­frain over and over again: ‘ why can’t we find the right peo­ple with the right skills? There’s no one ap­ply­ing who has the right ex­pe­ri­ence.’

But when you drill down and ask what the ‘right’ can­di­date looks like, what you’ll of­ten find is a pre­scrip­tive de­scrip­tion of that ‘right’ can­di­date. Em­ploy­ers seek to min­imise risk by try­ing to fill po­si­tions with some­one who they per­ceive as be­ing able to hit the ground run­ning – which is un­der­stand­able.

But there are a lot of fac­tors in play when it comes to tal­ent, such as:

• Suc­ces­sion and work­force plan­ning.

• Cul­ture fit.

• Your or­gan­i­sa­tion’s em­ploy­ment brand and rep­u­ta­tion.

• On­board­ing pro­gramme.

• Re­ten­tion ini­tia­tives.

• Or­gan­i­sa­tional devel­op­ment.

• Re­mu­ner­a­tion plans.

• Em­ployee en­gage­ment.

When you con­sider all this, it be­comes clear that the cost of tal­ent to an or­gan­i­sa­tion is sub­stan­tial. Each hire and em­ployee ei­ther adds value – or they don’t. There’s no in be­tween.

MAK­ING WISE IN­VEST­MENTS

So the ques­tion is: know­ing the in­vest­ment made in each em­ployee and the ben­e­fits a great em­ployee can bring, why are most em­ploy­ers still us­ing a cookie-cut­ter ap­proach?

When re­cruit­ing, most hir­ing man­agers have at least two pres­sure points: speed to re­place an ex­it­ing em­ployee, and not want­ing to get it wrong. So stick­ing to tried-and-true meth­ods is rea­son­able. But if you want to at­tract and keep the best tal­ent – mooted to be can­di­dates with crit­i­cal think­ing, cre­ativ­ity and re­silience – what should you look for?

Here’s where it pays to take some time and ac­tu­ally break down what truly mat­ters in the role. Ba­sic hard skills are im­por­tant – but what are the ac­tual skills that are the min­i­mum re­quire­ment? Be bru­tally hon­est: with all things be­ing equal (qual­ity train­ing, abil­ity to learn and right mo­ti­va­tion), how long would it take for some­one to be 85 per­cent com­pe­tent in the role?

Take stock of the data you have on your high per­form­ing peo­ple. Do you know:

• How long be­fore new re­cruits were at 85 per­cent com­pe­tency?

• What com­mon traits they all ex­hibit?

• What are their top per­sonal and pro­fes­sional val­ues?

• What they are mo­ti­vated by?

• How cul­tur­ally aligned they are to your or­gan­i­sa­tion?

The next fo­cus should be on the soft skills your can­di­dates need. What are they? What is your or­gan­i­sa­tion’s pur­pose? What should can­di­dates be pas­sion­ate about that fits with that? How might you ex­pect to see that ev­i­denced in a re­sume?

If you hire for cul­tural fit and per­sonal as­pi­ra­tions, then re­search has shown that you’re more likely to get less at­tri­tion and a sig­nif­i­cantly higher level of per­for­mance. Seems a no brainer – but it’s rare for or­gan­i­sa­tions to clearly de­fine what those are and for hir­ing man­agers to build the ques­tions into the in­ter­view process, and then in turn for them to know the ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponses.

Here are some part­ing ob­ser­va­tions:

• Ten years’ ex­pe­ri­ence might look good on paper but what you

could be hir­ing is some­one with one year’s ex­pe­ri­ence times ten.

• Hir­ing the same type of can­di­date (e.g. sim­i­lar ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tions out of same uni­ver­si­ties with same type of grades) isn’t go­ing to im­prove the di­ver­sity of think­ing be­cause they will all share a sim­i­lar per­spec­tive.

• Look­ing at in­di­vid­ual achieve­ments and out­comes will be more use­ful than track­ing pre­vi­ous em­ploy­ers, ti­tles, years of em­ploy­ment and role types. They don’t give you real in­sight into the can­di­date’s po­ten­tial and crit­i­cal think­ing.

• A ca­reer path that’s in­ter­est­ing doesn’t have to be lin­ear. It’s more likely that cre­ativ­ity, pas­sion and crit­i­cal think­ing is demon­strated by those with a zigzag path, or, as Clau­dia Bat­ten de­scribes it, a squig­gly line.

• Be thought­ful in your screen­ing of CVs and in your in­ter­view ques­tions. What in­ter­est­ing projects have they been in­volved in? Take into ac­count those in their per­sonal life or the com­mu­nity as well as those re­lated to their source of in­come. Scope out where have they shown adapt­abil­ity, re­silience or any other qual­i­ties you know are pre­dic­tors of suc­cess. It could be as un­sexy as be­ing able to stick at repet­i­tive work. In ap­ply­ing some qual­ity think­ing, you will broaden your scope and op­por­tu­nity to dig out the hid­den gems. Di­ver­sity won’t be some­thing you need to ar­ti­fi­cially ap­ply your­self ei­ther as the process is about widen­ing the search, not nar­row­ing it.

IF THIS IS SOME­THING THAT YOU’D LIKE TO WORK TO­WARDS, THEN CON­TACT [email protected] TBC. PART­NERS AND WE’LL BE IN TOUCH WITH OUR NEXT WORK­SHOP DATE. GALIA BARHAVA- MONTEITH AND MARISA FONG ARE CO- OWN­ERS OF TBC PART­NERS. ( WWW.TBC. PART­NERS)

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