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A better way to find qualified candidates: go beyond resumes and source for culture add

Liv Anderman
VP of Marketing
February 14, 2021

No matter what state the economy’s in, employers struggle to find qualified candidates for open positions. It shows in their results. According to the Academy to Innovate HR, more than half, 54%, say they don’t receive enough relevant applications from qualified candidates, for example. Recruiters lament the fact that resume keywords often don’t align with the job descriptions, so identifying qualified job seekers becomes an extended hunt that’s based on luck as much as smart searching.

The limits of resumes and keyword searching

Resumes and online profiles provide a limited picture of a candidate and their potential. Only 8% of resumes are filled out using the right set of searchable keywords and even those describe only their skills and the work they’ve done in the past. That means resumes are good for browsing but not well suited to building a pipeline of qualified candidates.

Even the best search technology can only return so many results when candidates and employers are out of sync in the way they describe jobs and skills. So sorting through profiles for qualified job seekers means time spent scanning resumes and interpreting what’s there.

Why skills matter for hiring and retention

In talent acquisition, we talk a lot about skills –reskilling, upskilling, encouraging workers to develop new skills for future work. A candidate’s potential should be based on more than their skills and experience to date. Resumes don’t show you the potential or areas for development. They also don’t show you how candidates have applied their skills as part of a group, or provide a sense of how they’ll fit into your team or, going further, how they’ll enhance your team’s performance.

Nor do they give you a sense of how candidates pursue their careers:

  • Are they aggressive or laid back?
  • Do they take on leadership roles or are they content to follow instructions?
  • Do they build loyal teams?
  • Have they been instrumental in company growth?
  • Have they built successful products?

This is the kind of data that helps managers match candidates -- both internal and external -- to specific jobs and truly drives the business forward.

Candidates are people too

All of a company’s critical activities–from strategic planning to production, marketing to customer service–are undertaken by people. And people who work together in teams. In, addition to having the requisite skills in any given area, people possess certain traits and behaviors that influence how they apply their talents in the workplace and what they can add to a team.

  • Some people are good listeners. Others like to talk.
  • Some people quickly grasp sophisticated technology, while others intuitively understand how heavy equipment performs in adverse weather conditions.
  • Some excel at project management, and others have a knack for stress-testing finished products.

These traits, or “attributes,” as we like to call them, have a huge influence on the contribution an individual will make to an organization.

Hiring for team dynamics and culture add

Considering a candidate’s attributes, as well as their skills, will give you a better sense of how they’ll fit into the team they’re about to join.

That fit is important for tangible reasons. When individuals mesh with a team, their employee experience is stronger, which correlates to improved operational and financial performance. Plus, strong teams enjoy lower rates of turnover, absenteeism and disengagement. Put another way, team dynamics and cultural fit have a direct impact on business success.

Sourcing for attributes and building teams

All of this points to the importance of being able to find candidates based on their attributes–not just skills and searchable keywords. Attributes span across data sets and aren’t restricted by the information displayed in a resume. Incorporating attributes into talent acquisition allows you to design your ideal team even before you begin evaluating candidates.

Building a talent pipeline based on attributes instead of keywords uncovers the people who will thrive on your team and in your culture.

When you start the process by describing the attributes you’re looking for and then apply these to the entire talent pool, you’re able to uncover higher quality candidates and make more precise matches. You're mining a more inclusive and diverse population, and you’re able to:

  • Conduct more precise searches, making the process more efficient and productive
  • Verify information before the phone screen and save time on interviews
  • Allow hiring managers to architect their ideal team with the the right mix of skills, experience and qualities
  • Candidates who have the right mix of skills, experience and qualities your organization needs to ensure success

The advantage to attribute sourcing? A happier, more engaged workforce where people feel valued and are set up for success.

A real world candidate search

What does this look like in the real world? Consider this example: A security company is looking for a product manager with industry experience and a history of delivering products on-time and on-budget. Finding the right candidates requires a search of not just resume information, but company and financial data, as well. Specifically, you’ve got to look at a person’s title, where they’ve worked, the industry categories of all their employers, the level at which they joined each company and their growth path since.

You need a platform that can collect the publicly available data and apply intelligence to connect the dots. Our library of more than 1 million attributes per person is compiled from all publicly available data sources that, taken together, offer holistic, data-informed profiles for over 750 million people. Findem isn’t a tool but rather a system of intelligence that uncovers unbiased insights into individuals and teams, allows you to benchmark candidates and performance against competitors and identify high-quality, diverse candidates that have the attributes you need to fill talent gaps based on more than skills alone.

Putting attributes at the center of your sourcing strategy helps you make hiring decisions with a complete set of information, a more comprehensive and accurate profile of the person who can get a job done, the way it can most effectively be done. Resumes and keywords don’t contain the data necessary to identify candidates who are solutions, not just employees.

Findem unlocks the insights you need to build the team that ensures success. Learn more about attribute-based sourcing.

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