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Hiring in Today's Competitive Recruiting Market
June 11, 2018
Regardless of the size of the organization, all HR professionals are “fighting the war for talent.” Our inboxes overflow daily with advice from "experts" on preparing for the digital future of staffing, increasing our speed in attracting and securing talent, fixing the talent gap, increasing our presence on social media, and on and on and on. While all of these are important concerns to be considered in today’s competitive recruiting market – meeting recruiting demand is essential to business success – is this advice helping us?
We spend great chunks of time developing strategies for connecting with and attracting the “right” talent. What does the “right” talent look like in today’s environment? We look for experience, education, and skill sets…but are we spending enough time looking at character traits and behaviors? We have taken notice of the #MeToo movement to stop harassment. We should leverage that in all aspects of HR including recruitment.  
Perhaps we should consider what I call the Emerson Model for recruiting. That would be Ralph Waldo Emerson. Remember him?
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What lies behind a candidate? Relevant experience, education, the right skillset.
What lies in front of a candidate? Aspirations, initiative, drive.
What lies inside? Heart. 
How do we drill down to the heart of a candidate? How do we determine whether this candidate will exhibit the right behaviors in the workplace? First and foremost, we must be active listeners. Secondly, we should develop a thoughtful, targeted list of questions.  A few that I find work well:
  • Assume you are in a situation where you have to deal with a person very different from yourself, and you are finding it difficult. What would you do?
  • What efforts have you made to create or support a respectful workplace?
  • Describe a time when you included someone in your team or on a project because you felt he or she would bring a different perspective.
And my personal favorite --- If you had to make a speech tonight about your greatest accomplishment, what would you say?   
We can pat ourselves on the back for awards, degrees, promotions, etc., but the candidate who answers this question by proudly sharing accomplishments of others for which the candidate played some role (i.e., mentoring, coaching in the workplace, or on a personal level being a proud parent of a well-adjusted, accomplished child) speaks volumes of what is in the heart.
Happy Recruiting!

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Ellen Smiley.
Labor & Employment Law