Sell them on values not perks

Wrapped up a long-drawn candidate selection project for one of my major clients. Quite pleased (albeit temporarily) with the effort because deep down I know the incumbent is a great fit to the organizational culture and mission.

How do I know? Well, there’s a reason why selecting a candidate is a lengthy process — both parties have to ensure they’re a great match otherwise it’s a waste of everyone’s time. And there’s a difference between a lengthy process and an ignorant one. The former keeps the candidate engaged since the get-go, unlike the latter which is often at the mercy of the hiring manager or competency gaps of the recruiter in charge.

But, I digress. The main emphasis here is that a lot goes into carefully evaluating candidates and that doesn’t just include technical competency but also a thorough analysis of their talents, strengths, and shortcomings. And not to forget the cultural fit. Most hiring managers and recruiters unexplainably stop at technical competencies and interview performance spanning several rounds before making a decision.

I believe there’s ought to be more to building high-performance teams. We have to know a lot about the candidate than just their skills and level of confidence and/or communication skills. Why? Because anyone can bluff their way to a job offer only a few actually are a great fit for the role at stake.

How can we avoid this? By adopting a two-pronged approach:

  1. Going beyond technicalities and assessing their talents, strengths and most importantly their shortcomings that are actually gaps they’re trying to fill and NOT a strength wrapped up like a weakness (oh, I really work hard… BS!)
  2. Stop selling them on the perks. In fact, don’t mention it at all. I believe a benefits package would be the last thing on a candidate who’s serious about their career and are looking for a better opportunity. I’m not saying it’s not important to them, I just know that this wouldn’t be their top priority.
  3. Be transparent about your organizational culture. The company’s vision, mission and goals for the next few years and where you see them contributing and making a difference. It’s something most HR folks, hiring managers and recruiters miss out on but if building high-performance teams were up to me I would like this person to know how valuable their contributions be. No matter how small that is. And I’ve had candidates who’ve backed out simply because they felt they weren’t a good fit for my client. Guess what, each time that has happened I ended up hiring someone who was at least 2 levels up than the candidate who backed off!

While I’m not a hiring expert my passion to build high-performing teams allows me to hunt and recruit talent often. And my biggest realization is the strongest teams are often at the mercy of their weakest team members.

%d bloggers like this: