What “Best Qualified” Actually Means
I believe that, as a whole, companies and organizations have adopted a pretty narrow lens when it comes to the hiring process. The best way to measure your organization’s talent acquisitions is to look at the data. What does it say?
A recent PersuasionPoint client came to me alarmed by the data their company collected.
This client was doing what we call “the work”, improving their DEI recruitment and retention efforts, and when they paused to look back on their data, the company was shocked to discover how many white men were getting hired over any other population of candidates.
One explanation for this could be what I call the “narrow lens” of talent acquisition (and retention). It can be difficult to break old systems and patterns of thinking when it comes to a hiring process for a company, but if we want to move forward we need to be evaluating exactly what our hiring practices are, who is at that table, and trying new ideas.
(Re)Define best qualified.
When working with clients, it’s not uncommon to receive pushback in the vein of, “But shouldn’t we be hiring the best qualified candidate?”
Yes, and we need to be looking more critically at what “best qualified” means. This means digging deep into your company culture and looking at “fit” from a holistic standpoint, instead a long list of checkboxes a candidate has to tick. This work starts with collecting employee culture temperature-check data from all your employees (yes, all of them), especially the ones that have been there the longest and the shortest.
The 7-Step Hiring Process
Taking a holistic standpoint and reimagining the hiring process takes courage because it forces leaders to look at the hiring practice from organizational and cultural levels. Below are the 7 steps I have identified working with clients that can lead to not only better talent acquisition, but also talent retention.
- Job Posting: Create an accurate reflection of what success look like.
- Expand The Net: Build a strong coalition of recruiting partners.
- Prepare Hiring Managers: Develop and foster a strategic partnerships.
- Modernize Interview Process: Enable results by removing barriers.
- Update Selection Criteria: Create a framework that is data- and human-driven.
- Analyze Yield Rates: Analyze, sustain accelerations, course-correct
- Overhaul Onboarding: Identify, and fill, gaps that hinder on-the-job success.
- From Harvard Business Review: Skills-Based Hiring Is on the Rise
- From Fast Company: How to make sure your new work policies don’t make people want to leave
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Patti Perez is founder and CEO of PersuasionPoint, a modern-day consulting firm dedicated to teaching leaders and teams how to create and sustain healthy, equitable and inclusive workplace cultures. Patti is the best-selling, award-winning author of The Drama-Free Workplace (Wiley 2019), and draws from the book’s themes to provide practical, authentic, and action-oriented solutions to help companies achieve true diversity and equity, and to create environments of belonging and inclusion.
Patti and the team provide services specifically tailored to address workplace struggles with recruiting, retaining, promoting and fully valuing diverse employees – including consulting, leadership training, and boot camps for diverse attorneys who are emerging leaders.