Why You Should Hire for Results, Not Skills

Often, when you post a vacancy announcement, it includes a laundry list of skills, experiences, educational requirements, or characteristics the ideal candidate should theoretically possess. However, once a person begins in a role, how they perform in a handful of key objective areas actually determines the strength of the match.

The approach of hiring solely on skills and other listed requirements might seem appropriate, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the results you’re hoping to achieve. However, by taking a results-oriented approach, you can increase the odds the new hire will actually be successful, which is the primary goal in the majority of cases.

If you want to begin hiring for results instead of just skills, here are some tips to get you started.

Describe Objectives, Not People

When you develop a vacancy announcement, try to forgo listing skills, characteristics, degrees or experiences that only describe the kind of person you think you need. Instead, consider what the goals are for the role, and use that information to guide your job ad.

Typically, each position is associated with five or six key objectives that determine whether an employee is a success, such as reducing costs, rewriting code or leading projects. When the goals are listed together, you develop a list that focuses on desired performance instead of a skill set, making results a priority over credentials.

Additionally, you often end up with a larger pool of talent, since job seekers aren’t screening themselves out because they don’t possess every skill you may have been inclined to include in the announcement. In some cases, a professional won’t apply unless they feel they are a 100 percent match, and a hard-and-fast set of requirements leads some to assume they aren’t qualified. Objectives are more about the approach, so any professional who believes they possess the talent to get the job done will be inclined to submit their resume.

Ask for Proof

Once you have a candidate in for an interview, you need to assess whether they can truly meet your needs. One of the easiest ways to get this done is to ask them to provide examples of times when they’ve performed similar work and to describe the results.

This approach gives you insights into how they perform on the job, including which skills they used and the mindset they had to assume. It also makes it easier to discover information about their soft skills, as their responses will give you clues about the characteristics while in the workplace.

While shifting to a results-oriented hiring approach may be a significant departure from your current strategy, it can allow you to find candidates who will actually meet your performance expectations. If you’re looking to fill a vacancy in your team, the professionals at The Squires Group can connect you with some of the area’s top talent. Contact us today to see how our approach to hiring can work for you.

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