By: Gary Miller
In Recruiting, you’ve got three targets:
- A good candidate must have sufficient skills to do the job.
- They must have the right motivation to pursue and accept the role.
- They must fit the chemistry of the team or organization.
TARGET 1: Skills
On the skills dartboard, too often search efforts begin and end there. Employers will define skills in years of experience at a certain task, knowledge of a programming language, having a certain degree, etc. That’s an OK way to start, but it’s very safe to say that someone with a little less experience or someone who could learn a skill quickly might be better than someone who’s already done it and is no longer challenged.
In the area of skills, you only have to hit the dartboard.
TARGET 2: Motivation
On target #2, we need to score really close to center on motivation.
By motivation we mean, motivation to change, motivation to seek a job like this, motivation to get out of bed every day. If motivation is to have a job and/or get a paycheck, then having good experience will not make up for lack of drive. If motivation is ceaseless, if someone’s motor is always running, they’re always looking to grow, contribute, learn more, earn more…then having less skill can be overcome quickly. They’ll come early, stay late and do whatever it takes to get above the line and contribute. That’s because it’s who they are. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach drive. An old client once told me, “Gary, if God didn’t put it in, chances are you won’t!”
TARGET 3: Chemistry
On target number THREE, don’t settle. You must get a bull’s eye….and that’s on chemistry.
Call it culture fit if you will, but there must be an almost undefinable sense of connection or comfort or easiness about the way communication flows. That communication should be there between boss and employee and is just as important, peer to peer. We’ve all had experiences where the right skill set is apparent, the energy and drive seem alive in the interview. Then the person shows up to work and doesn’t fit. After a few weeks, there’s an awkwardness present. Communication is choppy or incomplete, wondering begins, as in, I wonder what they’re thinking, I wonder if they like it, I wonder if the team notices…etc. That usually doesn’t end well.
The remedy used to be: hire slow-fire fast, but hiring slowly will cost you dearly. Good candidates are perishable and highly sought-after commodities. The remedy in this market is to spend as much time as you can with a prospective candidate in the shortest amount of calendar days possible. The more time you spend with a candidate and have them interact with your team, the better chance of hitting bulls-eye three. If you hit a bulls-eye on target 3 (chemistry), are near the center on target 2 (motivation), and at least hit the dartboard on target 1, (skills), you’ve got the best recipe for a great, long term outcome.