I was recently catching up with a former client from my recruiting days, and interviewing the “right” candidate came up in the conversation. We’ve known each other since the early 90’s and it has been a while since we have chatted. He has been working for a well-known global company for some time now and we worked together prior to him joining this monolithic organization. We were discussing how they recruit and recruiting budgets. He responded to one of my questions, “My boss doesn’t want to be bothered with the details of how we find talent. He doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is that we interview the people we want.” I found that interesting and asked him, “Do the candidates you want to hire (their job description) want to work for you?” He promptly looked like a deer in headlights and, after several quiet seconds, responded, “I don’t know…Probably not.” That response is at the heart of many company’s problems. For a multitude of reasons companies frequently look for the “wrong” candidates to suit their needs without really knowing why a candidate may be wrong for them. His response elicited another fork in our conversation.
The Right Candidate
There were many more questions we discussed, e.g: Do you really know what you’re looking for and why? How have you determined the profile of the candidates you want to interview? If the candidates you want aren’t interested in interviewing with your company, are you looking for the wrong type of candidate and/or do you have a branding issue, or is it something else altogether? Do your recruiters know how to find candidates and get them to even have an exploratory conversation with you? Are you posting on social media sites and hoping candidates find you? There are many more questions to be asked here, and these are the ones we talked about.
I bring this up because I think we need to be having these types of inquiries. Companies need to ask these questions in order to help put together talent strategies that work for them. Companies do strategic planning in every part of their business, but are they doing this when it comes to talent strategy and ensuring it’s aligned with corporate strategies?