Candidate Selection Strategies Come from the CIO – Either Consciously or Unconsciously

August 30th, 2013

Strategies need to be clearly articulated to be successful.

Who, within a company, should decide the selection criteria that a company’s hiring process is based on?  CIO? HR? Hiring manager? Technical staff?

When making information technology (IT) hiring decisions, the CIO is the only one who is able to set hiring standards and lay out the interviewing framework and process. Without CIO sponsorship and support, overall candidate selection becomes splintered and senior- level leaders are left to do their own thing.

Although, this splintered approach occurs in a majority of the information technology departments, it is neither consistent nor effective enterprise-wide.  To put together a consistent, effective, organization-wide approach requires top-down vision adhered to by the entire information technology organization.

By setting the strategy, standards, framework, and processes, the CIO can dictate or influence quality of hiring.  This, in turn, can take an employee referral, skill-based, mediocre candidate selection process and turn it into a well-oiled talent acquisition machine. The goal is simple, to put processes in place to eliminate bad hires, non-hires, and move to performance-based selection. Once the staff figures out how to determine the caliber and past performance of the candidates through effective interviewing, confidence takes over and performance-based hiring becomes contagious.

The fastest way to turn a laggard performing organization into a best-of-breed organization is by changing the caliber of staff and consistently exceeding management’s expectations. And the shortcut to accomplishing this daunting task is to change and fine-tune the talent acquisition and selection strategies and tactics. The quality of staff will quickly change for the better, when staff is hired based on past performance, depth of experience, motivation and supported by data vs. hired because they interviewed well, were likeable, or they were known by another employee. This change alone will allow the CIO to make more impact on the business than any other change in direction or process.

At Honer & Associates, we have focused on finding the best IT professionals for our clients’ hiring needs.  We have refined our process over the last 30 years.  Assisting companies in their candidate selection process is our trademark.  To discuss this topic or others necessary to hiring quality talent, feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Structuring Job Requisitions to Yield the Highest Caliber Candidate What information is important?

August 15th, 2013

Most companies structure their job descriptions to identify perfection. They want to find the right person possessing deep experience, every possible skill, and a god-like track record. This creates three fundamental problems

1)      Makes it very difficult to find qualified candidates because they are evaluated against the job description

2)      Makes a pool of candidates very difficult to build as candidates aren’t evaluated on what they are expected to get done, but to a skills based ideal

3)      High-caliber, top-performing candidates get frustrated as they don’t have the experience required, but know they can do the job.

We have to expect that these same high-caliber, top-performing candidates are capable of learning new skills. The importance comes in validating their performance and caliber.

In starting with the ideal, the job description creator isn’t starting with the end in mind and that is a necessity to hire the “best available candidate in the market”. The Goal has three pieces: make the position fillable, make it possible to have a pool of candidates to recruit and select from, and make it marketable to the top-performing, passive candidates.

To start, redo the format of the job requisition and make it a “Performance Profile”. First, identify the responsibilities of the role, next determine what success looks like if the selected candidate meets/exceeds expectations, articulate the accomplishments that need to happen in the next 12 months, and recognize the challenges / hurdles the role and culture present. By looking at a position from this view, it is much easier to back into the track record, experience, competencies, and motivations a candidate must possess to excel in performance.

Instead of creating a job requisition that focuses on an unnecessary number of required skills, an unwarranted number of years experience, and an unrealistic track record, focus on what needs to get done and the experience necessary to make it happen. After that, it’s all about the caliber of candidates selected, a much more important decision. Once the decision comes down to a core group of high caliber candidates, add additional competencies that increase value and are of benefit to the candidate’s ramp up time.

This process is guaranteed to clean up the identification process, and the interview process (selection process) can be leveraged to find the highest caliber candidates that will fit and excel.

At Honer & Associates, we have specialized in IT talent acquisition for over 30 years.  We understand the steps needed to create a performance profile that can attract high-caliber, top-performing candidates.  Assisting companies in acquiring A-level talent that fuels growth, prosperity and “doing more with less” is our trademark.  To discuss this topic or others necessary to hiring quality talent, feel free to contact us at your convenience.