Hiring Trends: Make Sure You Aren’t Behind the Times

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Kate Benson, featured by Talent Management magazine at its website. To check out all the resources and sign up for a free subscription to the Talent Management and Chief Learning Officer magazines published by MediaTec, please click here.

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Strategic interviewing and hiring practices must be in place if managers want to maximize an organization’s ability to hire the best talent. There’s no denying that human capital plays an integral role in moving a business forward, regardless of industry.

Here’s a synopsis what’s in and what’s out in terms of hiring:

What’s In: Attitude. Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts chain, was a keynote speaker at a conference a few years ago. The Four Seasons is known for making guests feel completely at home and providing an exceptional level of service. A key difference, Sharp explained, in helping the brand to differentiate itself from competitors is its hiring practice. He said every time they opened a new hotel, tens of thousands of individuals would apply for only a few hundred jobs. His recruiters were all looking for one key quality: a positive attitude. His belief was that skills can be taught, but individuals are either born with a helpful, pleasant attitude or not.

What’s Out: Ego. “You should hire me because of what I’ve done and where I’ve worked.” That is the passive message many candidates project during interviews. Some candidates don’t even realize it because it’s so ingrained, but too many times people feel they are who they are because of what they do. People harp on their resumes instead of saying, “I am here because I have always admired your company. I like what I see and I want to be a part of the success of this brand.” Managers should take notice of candidates who cite the skills they bring to the table along with how they can help the company achieve its goals.

What’s In: Vision. New, fresh, different — that’s a common mantra in the hiring world. Individuals with fresh eyes are needed to provide unique, yet specific, solutions to the problems facing brands and organizations today. Looking for innovative qualities that set a candidate apart can enable the right kind of change to occur to move the company forward?

What’s Out: History. It’s sometimes thought that a simple, fail-safe solution to recruiting would be to hire for qualities that are familiar, but that isn’t always the best practice. For organizations looking to innovate, change often comes from bringing in someone with transferable skill sets – someone without preconceived notions and the typical experiences, causing growth to be stunted or hindered, but rather the permissiveness to move with the times.

What’s In: Dialogue. In modern companies, offices are literally opening up. While the corner office still has a window view, perhaps the CEO has joined the rest of the group, maybe even sitting next to an intern. Offices are dispersing and executives may all be sitting together at one table or in rooms without cubicles. Breaking down the conversational walls allows for a constant flow of ideas that can be casually expressed rather than written down or emailed. This dynamic can create a democratic dialogue that can better the whole company as it allows young newcomers to lend a fresh perspective to senior executives.

What’s Out: Monologue. The CEO monologue is no longer the only opinion in the room; there must be a constant conversation about the state of the industry to not only remain relevant, but maintain a competitive advantage. Technological advancements have enhanced internal communications, and an exchange of ideas should be welcomed and utilized by all.

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Kate Benson is founding managing director of Martens & Heads!, an executive consultancy.

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