What target do you measure candidates against?

Zig Ziglar, the famous personal development coach and motivational speaker, posed the question: "how can you expect to hit a target that you don't even have?"

Ziglar was speaking of goal setting and the importance of knowing what your goals are in order to achieve them. And the more specific and detailed your goals are, the better chance you have of hitting them. Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? How specific is your candidate target when you're recruiting?

Finding your target

When recruiting for a new role, your goal is to find the right candidate. But what is "right?" Are you just looking at a basket of skills compared to a hastily cobbled-together job description?

Maybe you've gone the extra mile of considering cultural fit. But how do you measure that? And against what? Will the winner be the person who read the core values on your website and constructed a few star stories with the right words? They certainly deserve points for preparation.

What about how they'll work with others on the team? The manager? Is there a lot of routine to deal with? Or maybe they need to make the rules up as they go. Do they have the nature and temperament to deal with it?

What does your ideal candidate look like? What's the template you can hold a candidate up against?

It's hard to imagine, but there is a way to create a target that can tell you what attributes a person will need to succeed considering all of these aspects. The trick is to look at temperament.

The role of temperament

A person's temperament, or behavioural make up, will tell you how they will perform in situations they will encounter at work. A proper profile will tell you how they will deal with change, or routine; if they are good with people or prefer facts and figures; whether or not they are competitive and ambitious; and so much more.

Using a behavioural assessment tool that profiles candidates will tell you all of this, and there are many useful tools out there to help you do that. But that's just half the equation. You'll know what kind off arrows you have in your quiver, but where is your target? Coming back to Zig, how do you hit what you can't see? Even the best archer (or HR professional) can't accurately hit a target blindfolded.

Removing that blindfold means using the same, scientifically-validated process used to profile a candidate to profile a role. This process creates a behavioural target or benchmark for that role that you can aim for. You may not hit it exactly, but the closer you get, the more confident you can be that your chosen candidate is equipped to succeed.

Add to these two tools a skilled HR professional and you have all you need to hit your target and create a better recruitment process; one that sets the stage for decreased turnover and increased productivity.

What are your tips for better recruiting?