Every time an organization hires an individual for a key role they make decisions that will impact their success. Organizations that do this well can outperform their competitors; those that don’t miss an opportunity to “up their game.”
A long list of other projects, coupled with time pressure, often results in recruiting not receiving the importance it deserves, even for the most senior roles. Leadership in helping define the recruiting process and its anticipated outcomes is critical.
The success of every recruiting project depends on understanding what the expectations are for the role, then keeping these in perspective. Candidates will appreciate this vision: it will provide the interviewers a framework for evaluating. Qualified individuals will probably not have specific experience in all the aspects of the job, but their career should demonstrate success in similar activities and they must have the brainpower, willingness and the passion to learn what is required in the role.
The safe hire is someone who will probably continue in the same direction the organization is heading, and whose background indicates they have been successful doing so. They are the individuals who make certain that the unexpected doesn’t derail your progress. Most every search should have individuals with these characteristics.
But is that enough of a stretch? Instead of just filling a position, why not take this opportunity to hire someone who might make a dramatic impact? Should you consider one or two individuals who have the potential to help the organization make a quantum leap? Is the organization ready for this?
If they are, why not challenge yourself, or the recruiter you are working with to find these individuals? Modifying the recruiting process slightly may create a much greater upside potential for the hire.
Stretch your thinking
Stretch your thinking and consider individuals who are more “out of the box”. Just be certain they have the basic qualifications. Give the decision makers a choice, not only about this position but the potential for the organization. These individuals could be a riskier hire, but the rewards may be much greater.
As a search consultant, I make the greatest contribution to an organization when I am given the opportunity to introduce those “off dead-center” candidates into the process. These individuals are not easily identifiable, and sometimes they cannot be recruited but when they can, the client is in the enviable position of truly having a choice.
I am able to use my knowledge of the organization and my understanding of the candidates to bring a broader pool to choose from. The organization has the opportunity to determine what is right for them. It takes more work on my part, but the results clients receive make it worthwhile.
The next time you are recruiting an individual for a key role and you trust your recruiting professional, why not develop the strongest possible panel of candidates, including some that aren’t perfect fits but have tremendous upside potential?
With the right approach this can create the opportunity to recruit a star. Where could this take your organization? Are you prepared to lead these efforts?