Why the quilt picture? I’m a quilter. While I didn’t make this quilt, it’s by one of my favorite textile artists, Kaffee Fasset. He makes beautiful quilts, knits, pottery and other wildly colored beautiful objects. Like the quilt shown here, they may look somewhat ad hoc. They are all, however, carefully designed in order to achieve the right balance of color and movement in the finished product.
In a previous post related to candidate assessment, I wrote about the manager’s role in helping ensure that recruiters understand the competencies and qualities that will ensure success on the job. In this recent article from Talent Management Magazine, Steve Hunt expands on strategies that hiring managers can employ to retain qualified hourly workers by investing more time in the first stages of the hiring process to clearly articulate the skills and qualities that correlate to success (and satisfaction) on the job. In this article, Steve provides step-by-step guidance on how to identify these desired candidate attributes. Specifically, he helps managers and recruiters dig below generic platitudes (good attitude) and surface job specific descriptions (dependable attendance).
Another interesting aspect of this article is Steve’s discussion of thinking about candidate fit not only from the perspective of what the individual has done in the past (experience), but also what candidate can do (potential) and is willing to do (motivation). Hiring managers often focus their attention on candidates whose prior experience directly maps to the job at hand. When they do so, they not only limit their talent pools unecessarily, but may also be setting themselves up for retention challenges with employees who will become more quickly bored with a job, vs. those who’ll remain engaged longer as they learn new skills. As is the case with the vibrant quilt pictured above, the effort managers expend in the design phase of the hiring process will pay off in a more successful final outcome – employees who are more successful and engaged in their work.