Recruiting Tips

Winning the Talent Wars: The Employee of the Future

What should you be looking for when hiring new employees? Many employers are still using profiles they developed years or even decades ago. Often business leaders and managers make the mistake of looking for employees who think and behave as they once did, employees who will be willing to "pay their dues and climb the ladder." But strict adherence to the job description, obedience to authority and loyalty to the organization are no longer the most valuable traits in employees. In fact, these traits may well undermine the critical thinking, personal initiative the ad hoc team-building that is so necessary to succeed in today's rapidly changing workplace.

To find the best workers today, you will need to reconsider obsolete assumptions: Job-hoppers may be the most flexible and adaptable workers. Workers with short attention spans may be the most comfortable with new technologies. An applicant with an "attitude problem" may also be the most entrepreneurial, original thinker. And workers who demand tons of feedback and immediate gratification are likely to be the people most tuned-in to today's accelerating pace of change.

While some old-fashioned credentials may still be important for certain positions, most important in all workers of the future will be their learning practices, relationship skills, ability to identify and seize opportunities to add value, and readiness to adapt continually.

Before you start an all-out recruiting campaign, it is important to clarify exactly what kind of applicants you hope to attract. Profiling is actually the most important element in selection If you have given thorough attention to building a profile of the ideal applicant for the position you are seeking to fill, the selection process is all about finding the applicant who best fits the profile.

By Bruce Tulgan, author of Winning the Talent Wars, to be published in 2001

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