I wrote about the culture based hiring -method in my previous post. I wanted to introduce you the simple steps of how to start a culture based hiring -process in practice.
Profiling the need _thoroughly_
Profiling is one of the core practices in culture based hiring. This is where you sharpen your need. It is the diagnose of the need. There is a reason why doctors want to make their own diagnoses before prescribing the treatment.
When I profile, I’ll start by digging deep into the (hiring) organization, be it my own, or that of a customer. I’ll drill the business, the products and/or services, the short term strategy, mission, vision, the company culture, the real values as well as the expectations of the hiring manager. It’s a simple, conversation, but these are the topics. I want to understand deeply enough to be able to precisely describe the offering. And if you wonder why only short them strategy, that’s because short term is what we do now, and what we do now is more important than what we plan to do sometime in the future.
“I’m not interested in hearing someone else’s treatment plans until I have made the diagnosis. As far as I’m concerned, those could be Google-prescriptions (and to be frank, many times they are just that, the result of googling existing job ads for similar roles).”
After this, I’ll dig into the need. What is this position about? What’s the purpose of this position?
Let’s say, we have the empty work station in front of us. What do we expect to be delivered from this work station within the first 6-12 months? This really helps us to see what the real need is. The need is usually no longer, or just about what has been done before on this work station, but what must be done on the future. In the conventional manner, we tend to replace people with similar new people, but that’s not necessarily right for the business.
As you can see, I have not yet asked a single question about the person the hiring manager is looking to hire.
You see, this is the diagnosis stage. And the person would be the treatment. I’m not interested in hearing someone else’s treatment plans until I have made the diagnosis. As far as I’m concerned, those could be Google-prescriptions (and to be frank, many times they are just that, the result of googling existing job ads for similar roles).
When I know the specific targets and goals for the first 6-12 months, I’ll benchmark the targets against the need and the company business, strategy, goals and culture. This will tell me a whole deal about the attitude, working style, skills and experience my customer should be after, in order to achieve the targets and expectations set for this role (the work station).
It is very intensive, and takes a bit more time. But it’s like putting money into the piggy bank. I promise you. I’ll tell you jokes, if you feel it’s getting too serious.
Be precise, and target
You probably noticed how specific I was with the profiling. The more specific, precise, sharp, to the point I can be, the better I can target all communication specifically to where the target audience most likely will receive it, and get excited about it.
Recruitment marketing offers a fantastic opportunity to build employer brand. When you hire sharp, you’ll want to make sure the recruiting process itself will contribute as much as possible towards the employer brand, because that will help you with your future hiring needs.
Because the profile and the process are so sharply targeted, there will be less bulk applications and more of those applicants who actually know how to meet the position goals, and who are inspired about our mission, strategy, business, products, customers and culture.
Base it on the attitude and behavior expectations (culture)
Recognizing the link between the strategy, business goals, workplace culture and leadership is not easy, but it exists. And what more, you are able to develop a systematic approach to hiring based on it. If you are the hiring manager, and you aim to go about this on your own, you’ll know what you need attitude and working style wise if you first make two lists:
- One with attitude and behavioral traits you recognize in those employees that are not meeting your expectations
- One with attitude and behavioral traits you recognize in those employees that are meeting your expectations
Obviously, I cannot guarantee your list links with the company strategy and culture, but it’s a great start to understanding better, why you should not be looking only at skills and experience. Make your job advert stand out from the masses
I’m sure we’ve all been there: skimming through job adverts that call for our qualifications, skills and experience. They all have pretty much the same title and description of tasks and expectations. How on earth do we (as job seekers) decide which advert to open and read, and which position to apply for?
- We are more likely to open job adverts from companies we are familiar with
- We are more like to open job adverts that have an inspiring, descriptive title
As employers, we only have a second or two to convince the applicant to click on our job posting. If we are unknown as a company and a brand, we stand very little chance. So it’s worth working on the employer brand. Most companies do not have the budget nor other resources to invest specifically on employer branding. That’s why it is very smart to use any opportunity you have in building your employer brand. Hiring is a great opportunity just for that.
When you post a job, remember that it needs to stand out from the masses of other similar offerings. And it’s the title that is what the job seeker first sees. The title you use for marketing reasons does not necessarily need to end up in the business card. But make sure whatever you use as the title, it communicates what the job is about, and it represents your culture. You don’t want to attract Sales Ninjas if you are a conventional company, and many times you cannot change the title once you have published the job posting.
“I can promise you, there probably aren’t more than 3-5 things in an average job that are really and truly necessary. These we call absolute selection criteria. These are the yes-no -criteria. The candidates who do not have these criteria cannot do the job. Simple as that. You could have just one absolute criteria, but you always have absolute selection criteria.”The title is one thing. The content of your job advert is the next.
Job advert is a sales pitch, just as much as the job application is. The more specific you can be about what makes your offering different from that of the competitors, the better chances you have in winning your target audience over. Use the opportunities your business and strategy offer career wise, communicate the work environment from cultural stand, and be specific about the expectations the job itself has target wise during the first 6-12 months. Then choose carefully not more than 5 things that are absolutely critical to possess in order to achieve those goals.
I can promise you, there probably aren’t more than 3-5 things in an average job that are really and truly necessary. These we call absolute selection criteria.
These are the yes-no -criteria. The candidates who do not have these criteria cannot do the job. Simple as that. You could have just one absolute criteria, but you always have absolute selection criteria. If you think you don’t, how do you know what you are looking for? And if you don’t, your hire will have a little chance in the ROI-department.If you profile thoroughly, you’ll know.
Avoid all those “it would be great”, “..is a benefit” -criterias
Do yourself a favour and avoid all those “it would be great if you had this and that and the other”. You’ll only open the door for bulk applications from applicants who have those “this and that, and the other” -skills and qualifications, but none of the ones this job really calls for. You’ll recognize the plusses when you read them from the application, and you can decide then, whether the specific applicant is more interesting than someone else.Go where your target audience is, make your need known
Great content is just great content if it’s not available for those who you aimed it for. Recruitment marketing these days is actually fun and full of opportunities. With social media, we’ve been handed the best HR-gift ever. Since you profiled thoroughly, you should be able to do some serious digging, and figure out where your target folks hang around. Go there. In other words, find out how to reach your target audience with your job advert elsewhere than on the mass job boards where you stand a little chance.
There’s no point standing in the middle of the market square if you have nothing to say. And there’s no point shouting your message, if no one is listening, or if the audience has no interest in it.
Be active, be relevant, ask around, network with your target audience and tell the world what you have to offer. Unfortunately, the conventional way of recruit marketing is most often just aggressive waiting. And if you wait in the wrong place… How to know if this works
I often get asked how to measure hiring. That makes another blog posting, but I can tell you that our culture based hiring -method enables measuring. But you’ll need data and you’ll only get data if you are consistent and systematic with your approach. If you keep doing this, you’ll develop your own hiring skills, and you’ll come to notice the difference in immediate feedback and results, as well as more long term results.Scaling the culture based hiring in your organization
One benefit with the culture based hiring -method is that as you become more and more vocal about your business and culture, you’ll also develop your company internal pride and willingness to share your hiring need. The systematic approach and well thought messages invite the entire organization (or a team) to collaborate. If you want to take this even further, teach your employees how to recognize the attitude and behavior -related qualities you want to hire, so that they can give you leads when they meet such people. The more the entire organization contributes (at their own will), the less you really have to search
for new people. This is what scaling the culture based hiring -method to the organization means.
The value of a conventional hiring is placed pretty much on a signed employment contract. And if your hire, no matter how great a person, does not meet with the criteria for ROI, the signed contract becomes a cost to you.
The value of culture based hiring generates more value both short term and long term. Most likely the contracts will be signed with person generating optimal ROI, because the hiring process has predicted the outcome and the potential, and has been able to minimize the risks and optimize the returns.
#culturebasedhiring #companyculture #sharphiring #recruiting #hiring #profiling #precisionhiring
By Susanna Rantanen