That 90% Match Is Not Your Soulmate Employee

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Odds are your hiring managers want to hire candidates who are experienced in ~90% of the job. Why? They want to go home and sleep at night thinking the tasks are covered and the team is productive. Odds are the best candidates really want a job that is 50-75 % of what they did before. Why? They want to learn. They want to try a new industry or a new role. They want new challenges and a place where their contributions are needed and recognized. Okay thanks Caroline, but what does this have to do with your soul mate employee?

The dating sites match to potentials that are 90% or more compatible, but they also encourage taking chances and reaching out past the ideal profile. Stay with me now, here is the connection. When hiring someone with all the skills who’s perfectly happy doing what he did in his last job—and the one before that and the other one before that – the employer may soon discover he’s hired a one-trick pony, a frozen in time performer, a person who may not grow with the organization. That employee is awesome so long as she doesn’t have to learn something new. And if the employer does decide to shift to a new project management system, change some operational strategy or create a new product or service, suddenly he’s got an employee who is either drowning, can’t cope or downright obstinate and has become a change management nightmare. 

We understand: Most companies are moving so fast that it is a challenge to slow down and consider what they may need in the long term. At a surface level, it can look like if we don’t hire someone who has done the job before, there will be more training involved or worse, more mistakes. Both mean time away from other responsibilities and translates into more money spent. The knee-jerk reaction is to see this as a daunting task for a lot of hiring managers.

On the other hand, say you’re hiring someone for a team working on a new concept.  You have created a strong set of soft skills, assessed well and you’ve hired a candidate who’s smart, collaborative and motivated who has great experience but in another industry. Yes, there may be a learning curve, but there may be a great pay-off in a better product and more customers.

Taking the time to figure out what skills you desperately need in this moment as well as the skills you really need for the next several years means planning, assessing, and ultimately feeling confident when you have found the right candidate.  And, when they have found you.  After all, opposites attracting is the basis for the greatest rom-coms. Still worried about how to do this?  We provide insight and guidance to our clients on successful recruitment strategies to find and hire the best multi-talented potential soul mate candidates. 

We work with companies on a project basis or on retainer, providing a custom level of HR help designed for your business, with offices in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Contact me at Caroline@valentinehr.com or call (512) 420-8267.

One Response to “That 90% Match Is Not Your Soulmate Employee”

  1. Hi Caroline! Your newsletter flags a really important aspect of business life nowadays. Would-be employees of most ages want to work at a vibrant place, not a stagnant place. If would-be employers appear to be the latter, “I want to learn” job-seekers will look elsewhere.

    My son experienced this early in his career, at a firm about which he said, “Google ‘stodgy’ and you’ll see a picture of my company’s building.” This is not to say that portraying a business as forever frenetic would be wise either. Your guidance about balance and willingness to stretch beyond known capabilities into potential is spot-on!