Stop Mis-Hiring: Get Talent Acquisition Right

Be Real and Stop Mis-Hiring: Get Talent Acquisition RightWe’ve all heard the metaphor: a good job fit is like a good marriage. If you want that to be true, then you need to get your talent acquisition right. Both sides have to agree on core terms and there always should be an open communication channel between candidate and company. There are a few things worse than spending a good month on a candidate, only to find out post-hire that s/he rubs the rest of the team the wrong way.

Talent Acquisition

Sometimes, the new hire is just plain bad. But assuming your hiring manager did due diligence, more often than not, it’s not a matter of skill or expertise, but of culture fit and work style.  Every misfire is thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of wasted time. Most of us don’t have infinite budgets (or patience) to spare. So how do you reduce that cost and risk of talent acquisition?

Be authentic. Or, in colloquial terms, “be real”. Do not shy away from the hard topics. Be upfront and honest about your work culture in order to get talent acquisition right. 

For example, I work in a startup. I love it. But what makes me love it may very likely make another person despise it. When I was recruiting for a new teammate, once we realized they had the necessary skills, we almost always devoted at least a third of interview time to talking about work styles, such as:

Are you okay with rapid, sudden changes?

Some companies, you see problems coming a mile away. Unfortunately, due to inertia, it may be hard to avoid said problems. Still, you get the benefit of warning!

In a startup, things can blow up within hours. You might fall asleep to “all is well on the western front”, only to wake up and find out your European database threw a temper tantrum overnight. Or, you might land an unexpectedly big contract, which is great and all, except suddenly you have to rewrite the next eight weeks; sprint schedules.

In other words: you need to learn how to roll with the punches.

Are you okay with being given a task with little prep or training?

Some companies have nice, concrete, static job descriptions. But startup jobs have a pesky habit of expanding on you. You can be hired as a product manager, only to find yourself creating marketing assets and making sales calls.

You must be okay with being stretched and pushed. I admit, sometimes you’ll stare at your three screens, each displaying a Google Doc about something completely different, and wonder if you’re getting paid enough. But then you’ll realize you’re practically getting paid for MBA training and suddenly life doesn’t look so bad.

Are you okay with day-drinking?

There will be alcohol in the office. There’s no pressure to drink, but you will see your co-workers walking around with red cups and whiskey tumblers. There will be 2pm giddiness. All harmless fun, I promise!

On a more serious note: are you having problems with finding the right hire? Are you struggling to expand or to structure interviews? Check out our upcoming webinar with WorkXO (over fifty years of HR experience and several lifetimes of straight-up fun) on how to brand and market your company toward new hires.