Sourcing and recruiting

How to go beyond resumes and source for culture add

No matter what state the economy’s in, employers struggle with sourcing. 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.

Even the best search technology can only accomplish so much when candidates and employers are out of synch in their approach to keywords and skills terminology. However, that’s only part of the challenge. In talent acquisition, we talk a lot about skills these days–reskilling, upskilling, encouraging workers to develop new skills for the future of work. But the focus on skills often muddles the fact that identifying and hiring the right candidates is as much art as science, because a candidate’s success is based on more than their skills and experience to date.

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

Some people are good listeners. Others like to talk. Some people quickly grasp high 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.

Because each candidate has their own attributes–they’re people, after all–hiring is about more than searching for specific skills or experiences. You have to consider each candidate’s attributes, as well as their skills, in order to get a 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 measurably 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.

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Sourcing for attributes

All of this points to the importance of being able to source candidates based on their attributes–not just skills and searchable keywords–when you’re trying to find the best talent.

Resumes and online profiles provide a limited picture of the candidate and their potential. Only 8% of resumes are filled out using the right set of searchable keywords and even these describe only their skills and the work they’ve done in the past, meaning resumes are good for browsing but not well suited to building a pipeline of candidates. The wish lists we seek in ideal hires go deep into the background of each candidate, which is usually beyond the scope of a resume. Resumes 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 to specific jobs and truly drives the business forward.

Attributes, on the other hand, are designed for building pipeline as they span across multiple data sets and aren’t restricted by the information displayed in a resume. Incorporating attributes into talent acquisition allows you to proactively design your ideal team even before you begin evaluating candidates. When you start the process by describing the attributes you’re looking for and apply these to the entire talent pool, you’re able to uncover higher quality candidates and make more precise matches. You discover hidden talent by mining a more inclusive and diverse population. And you’re able to:

  • Conduct more precise searches, making the process more efficient and more accurately identifying high quality-candidates
  • Save time on interviews by verifying information before the phone screen.
  • Allow hiring managers to architect their ideal team
  • Obtain a more accurate view of your pipeline’s diversity
  • Create a happier, more engaging workplace by identifying candidates who have the right mix of skills, experience and qualities your organization needs to ensure success

A full profile

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.

This is the kind of information Findem provides. 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 700 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. Want to learn more about attribute-based sourcing? Request a demo today.

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