Sage Conversations--Secret Sauce: Finding the Best Candidates

Sept. 10, 2012
Finding the best candidates means looking for traits that promote your company philosophy

This article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of SD&I magazine

The security industry needs to learn to approach recruiting similar to marketing. First, study the ecosystem, then the value drivers of your customer (their wants and needs) and finally, create a campaign that touches the ecosystem in a compelling way. The best candidates need to be discovered and pulled out of an existing environment. They are not generally looking at help wanted ads.

Look at what happens in the interview from the perspective of the seller (you) and the buyer (the prospective new employee). I have met with many human resources officers and executives who never seem to grasp this: Your job opening and your organization are products. And your job is to find markets where your buyers exist, then be prepared through proper research for your interaction with those buyers.

Which characteristics matter most?

Identify the traits you are looking for in a top performer. If you have had one in the position you are looking for you may have broken down the key traits that have led to their success. You have interviewed their associates and their customers to understand how they work alongside people to accomplish their high level of work. Finally, know what motivates the high performers day after day. Work is where we spend most of our time. What keeps your high performers at your company inspired? Now you are prepared for the interview.

Set an agenda with defined expectations and a clear time frame. The agenda covers the key topics you believe are critical to achieve a clear understanding of their wants and needs. At the end, there will be time for an evaluation of potential synergies.

And that is the secret sauce of an interview. Every candidate for an opening, especially the ones you invest personal time with, must walk away knowing your organization and your people are special. They know your value proposition and how to express it within their ecosystem.

Now you have options: Continue the process by going deeper into the subjects that have been discussed or depart the interview with a potential advocate for you and your organization and its products and services. Either way, you have created value.