Here are my four best tips for getting conscious candidates in the door.
1 // CULTURAL ALIGNMENT COMES FIRST
Before you consider professional skills, focus on culture and purpose in your job descriptions. This will help attract like-minded people and repel those who don’t fit in. At the interview, look for cultural, purpose, and values alignment by talking about the uniqueness of your organization. Then, listen and watch for cues to see if the candidate relates. Caveat: Be aware of how your job advertising terms might appeal to different populations, and make sure to switch them up to attract values-aligned candidates with varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
2 // HIRE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LEARN
Let’s be real: No one likes a know-it-all. And if you’re a conscious company, everyone around you is always learning. Seek out relentless learners by asking questions like, “What are you learning right now?” or “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Candidates’ answers (or the lack thereof) will tell you right away if they love learning or think they know it all already.
3 // SLOW DOWN THE HIRING PROCESS
Speed kills during the hiring process. The challenge is that you’re itching to check it off the to-do list, so you end up dealing with the pain later. Making a bad hire means you’ll not only have to undo the mistake and redo the recruitment, you’ll also have to repair the cultural damage from a mis-hire. Slow, thoughtful hiring ensures that you find the best possible candidate.
4 // DON’T RELY ON ADVERTISING ALONE
Hiring the best of the applicants is different from hiring the best possible person. In today’s market, the best talent is already employed. Relying solely on job postings and the candidates who apply is risky. Ask yourself, “If I could hire the best possible person for the role, who would I hire?” Chances are it’s not the best resumé you received from your online posting.
Instead, create a target list of potential candidates or companies where they might be found and pursue them proactively. When you’ve identified someone as a possible fit and started the conversation, you control the initial dialogue and get to dig in on the cultural and mission-fit topics that matter to you. Proactively talking with a potential candidate before they know the needs of the role and company also allows you to better match up professional competencies. If you focus on what the best possible outcome looks like both in terms of culture and ability to perform, you should reap the benefits of a diverse, high-performing team.
Max Hansen is CEO at Y Scouts, which is in the business of finding purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders who help organizations achieve their missions faster.