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Monday, September 20, 2010

In Pursuit of Excellence

A recent HR discussion forum question came my way, asking: “Why is it so difficult to find an excellent employee? Why are there so many mediocre performers?” Based on my experience, the root cause here lays not so much with employees as it does with the organization lacking the ability and infrastructure to identify skills, competencies and attitudes that will align with the company's unique cultures.

Let’s face it, thanks to the recession the current pool of available talent is rich with experience and expertise. Yet some firms struggle to hire the best people despite high unemployment. Many hiring managers continue to search for ways to attract and hire candidates who will fit their organization’s culture and thrive in their dynamic environments.

The challenge stems from five key recruitment steps that may be deficient and hindering the process. It’s not so much about what the candidates are lacking; it’s more about what the process is missing. If you are struggling to find excellent candidates, consider whether your process is lacking:

1. A definitive success profile that captures the right knowledge, skills, culture fit, abilities and experiences as a benchmark to hire against.

2. A good sourcing strategy. Perhaps you’re looking in the wrong places for qualified people or haven’t created a compelling employer brand to attract the best people.

3. A solid evaluation system that can assess for the required elements of the success profile.

4. A consistent and accurate rating of candidates against the success profile. (For instance, how much delegation ability is good enough or how proficient does this person need to be in a specific skill? And are we all assessing this person the same way by rating the person by the same criteria?)

5. A systematic process to transfer information captured in the hiring process into a meaningful application in the on-boarding process? (For instance, if we know a candidate is good in one area and weak in another, then let’s craft an on-boarding plan that leverages strengths and accelerates development around weaknesses.)

The difficulty finding suitable workers limits the economy’s ability to grow. It’s a difficulty that needs to be overcome. There is great talent available. A well structured hiring process will help you find the ones who will take your company to the next level.

How many excellent people do you have in your organization?

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