As an outside observer, I have begun to think that much of the issues around lack of talent may be rally a lack of preparation and discipline in the hiring process rather than lack of talented candidates. One recent Linkedin post showed a drawing of the errors that candidates make during the interview. It also indicated that the hiring manager often makes the decision in the first 90 seconds if the interview. Somehow that sounds too short a time to make a hiring decision about a candidate. It also may indicate that there are underlying biases in the hiring decision that are not necessarily good for the organization.
Time must be taken to understand just why the position exists. How do the activities being done by this position support the mission and strategies of the organization? Once the fit has been established it then is necessary to understand, in some detail, the tasks that need to be done to support the organization’s mission and strategies. From that detailed understanding of tasks to be performed you will need to determine what skills are needed to do those tasks. This cannot be just “Good communication skills.” Just what are “Good communication skills?” Your skills documentation must attempt to define those skills in a way that will lead to methods of evaluating those skills. You must develop specific questions or tasks for the interviewee to respond to, or do, and a general outline of how to rank the results of the interview. The creation of specific interview questions may not be enough to evaluate the competency. You may find it advantageous to create a small simulation of the tasks required to do the job. Often an individual may possess the individual skills but lack the ability to combine them to solve a problem. From past experiences, there have been cases where an individual did quite well responding to the technical questions but when presented a problem that required him/her to apply they did not do so well.
Take the time to understand the requirements of the job and how it fits into the overall mission and strategies of the organization and then take the time to create an interview process that will evaluate a candidate against the needs of the job rather than hiring someone just like “Joe.” You may find more talent out there than you thought and the folks you hire will be a better fit for the job.
Contact me if you want assistance in creating an improved hiring and interviewing process.