These 4 Simple Words Will Determine the Success of Your Entire Hiring Process

April 20, 2017

HAVE – GET – DO – BECOME.

When these words are viewed as a process from left to right, they put a limit on your company’s quality of hire. This is not good.

When viewed as a process from right to left they represent a process designed to attract and hire people based on their past performance and upside potential. This is how you increase the diversity of your entire workforce AND raise quality of hire.

When candidates accept jobs largely for what they GET on the day they start the job, the probability of success is low and the probability of their dissatisfaction is high. But, when candidates accept jobs for what they can DO and BECOME because they see the job as a true career move, compensation is far less important.

Rookie recruiters and HR leaders make this classic hiring mistake: filtering candidates too soon on what they GET on the day they start a job rather than on their interest and ability to DO the work and what they could BECOME if successful.

These four simple words have profound implications on how and who you hire.

1. HAVE

This is what companies list on their job descriptions as fundamental requirements a person needs to have in order to even be considered for an open job. These skills, experiences, competencies and academic requirements are then matched to what candidates include on their resumes.

As a result of this, high potential candidates and those who have a different mix of skills and experience who can DO the work are inadvertently excluded from consideration. As bad, similar high potential and diverse candidates won’t even be interested in considering the job because it appears to be a lateral transfer.

2. GET

This is what companies offer to candidates on the start day – a company name, a job title, a compensation package and a specific location. Too many candidates want to know this first when a company expresses an interest in them, typically before they’ll even engage in conversation.

The problem with this is that all of these factors are negotiable if the job represents a true career move. Unfortunately, this conversation is often short-circuited for the sake of efficiency. The bigger loss is the opportunity to have a career and networking discussion.

3. DO

This is the actual work the person needs to accomplish. For example, it’s better to say, “Build a prototype of the optical design systems used for deep space exploration,” rather than, “HAVE 10+ years of experience and a MS in Optical Engineering.”

One benefit of defining the DOING is that if the person can DO the work he/she has all of the experience and skills required. The bigger benefit is that if the person is motivated by this type of work he/she will be more satisfied and productive if a job offer is accepted.

Every job can be defined by 5-6 performance objectives defining the task, the action required and some measureable results. Collectively, these are called performance-based job descriptions.

4. BECOME

This represents the future. It’s what the person in the role can become if successful in the role. Typically, this is a bigger job, more impactful and satisfying work, and/or a promotion. If the future is far better than other opportunities the candidate is considering, the chance of hiring the person on fair compensation terms is higher.

From a negotiating standpoint it’s important to urge candidates to emphasize what they can DO and BECOME rather than what they GET on the start date. This negotiating tactic needs to start when the first contact is made with the person. This same point needs to be made when first opening the requisition with the hiring manager. Start with this question: “What does the person need to do to be successful in this role and why would a top person want this role?”

You can’t use a surplus of talent strategy and process when a surplus of talent doesn’t exist. This is the core problem with the left to right HAVE-GET-DO-BECOME process built into the fabric of most companies’ hiring practices. In a scarcity of talent situation, a process that starts by describing what a person can DO and BECOME will enable the company to attract stronger and more diverse candidates.

These are four simple words: BECOME-DO-HAVE-GET. When looked at from a different strategic, tactical and process perspective they will forever change who and how you’ll hire in the future.

*Image from Two in the Middle

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