How to attract specific profiles
Knowing who you want to hire for a given role isn’t just a matter of identifying specific skills. You might see a qualified accountant on paper, but how does that person show up at work? How do they fit behaviorally within your organization, and within the team they’ll join?
In some cases, you’re looking for a very specific behavioral profile. Knowing this, you can actually shorten the time-to-hire curve, making your hiring process more efficient. But to attract top talent by profile, you’ll want to be creative with your messaging.
Let’s consider some specific examples:
Attracting top marketing talent
Marketing talent comes in many forms, but let’s say you’ve identified a marketing manager role that requires a person to handle multiple priorities and people. You realize you’re looking to hire a Captain—someone who loves rising to meet new challenges.
With this knowledge, you can devise a job description that speaks to these specific behaviors. You’re looking for a multichannel, brand-whispering whiz, sure, but you also need a person who’s simultaneously sociable, self-starting, and innovative.
Be real about what this role will entail: Speak to the need for flexibility and an ability to endure change. Consider how this person balances your other marketers, and align your hiring team to narrow its search selectively.
Attracting top customer service talent
Customer service talent is in high demand, like many other roles, because people who succeed in these positions tend to exhibit specific workplace behaviors. One of those behaviors is patience—you can’t get easily frustrated when juggling customer needs.
Operators usually fit these needs, as they tend to be pragmatic, cooperative, and helpful, yet also conscientious and reliable. Most importantly, they are known to remain calm in stressful or complicated situations. But you need to determine how to hire a customer success manager who fits your organizational needs.
Snagging an Operator—or whichever profile you determine to be the best fit—for a key customer service role could again come down to your job description. Give candidates a realistic picture of what the service demands entail, and stress the need for someone like them to come join your already-capable team.
Attracting top sales talent
There are a lot of notions about how to hire a top-performing salesperson. The theory goes that you generally want people who are persuasive, personable, and active listeners to sell your products or services. But talent-savvy companies know you can’t paint sales success with a broad brush. Instead, think of the behavioral traits that support success in your industry, and on your team. Those same traits will benefit your sales squad.
Maybe the team is full of Persuaders already, and you could benefit from a Captain or an Adapter. Captains still fall into the social profile quadrant, connecting with colleagues easily. But they’re also natural leaders who raise the bar for the group (not a bad trait if it’s a quota-driven crew). Adapters, meanwhile, are the ultimate balancers, stretching effortlessly to meet the needs of the moment or objective.
Behavioral data doesn’t just promote awareness at the individual level. A sound talent strategy helps you visualize the natural behaviors—as well as the strengths and potential gaps—of every member of a group. With that visual compass, you can better address gaps, and work with an awareness and anticipation of the challenges likely to arise.
Attracting top developers
Developers benefit from candidate competition as much as anyone, in part because they are specialists, possessing specific and essential skill sets companies rely on immensely.
But just as sales teams need balance, your developers are best when diverse, especially if your organization is in aggressive growth mode. Some of the more common profiles for developers include the Scholar and the Analyzer. Both are marked by mastery of their given craft, as well as an ability to work well independently on special projects. But depending on who you already have, you might bolster your growing team by mixing in an Individualist or a Maverick. These relative iconoclasts occasionally challenge the status quo and spur innovation in ways that help the collective coalesce.
When evaluating how to hire a developer, remember that this talent might not come to you. To find and attract the best, you may need to explore niche communities, or find freelancers seeking full-time work. Developers can generally work autonomously, from anywhere, so in addition to the desired behavioral traits, you can appeal to their desire for flexibility.
Think about the person who will manage this role, and whether they can grant that freedom without relinquishing good guidance. Talent optimization is often less about the individual hire than it is the environment they enter, and how naturally that environment nurtures their strongest drives and preferences.
Attracting top engineers
Similarly well-positioned in today’s job market, engineers possess distinctly different skill sets from developers. In some industries, such as the software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) sector, building out a team of talented engineers is priority one. The competition for top engineering talent, from fresh Gen Z grads to long-toothed coder vets, can be extra fierce.
Like home buyers attending open houses amid an inventory shortage, you can’t sacrifice your key criteria. Don’t let aggressive growth goals cloud a carefully constructed talent strategy. Talent optimization means always thinking about these priorities in tandem. Hiring a hot name might hurt your competition now, but will it help you long-term?
Hire with purpose, even if you have multiple engineer roles open at one time. Think about how this expanding department will interact with the rest of the business. Consider how it scales, what growth and development paths on the team might look like, and who’s equipped to lead it.
Like the best developers, many good engineers need space and time to do good work. Operators excel at using facts to make objective decisions, plowing ahead on clear priorities. You can appeal to these preferences by outlining not only a specific job description, but by articulating the vision for your company.
Let that unicorn engineer know: This is something you want to help build!
Assurance of your organizational identity is attractive to any candidate, but especially to those (such as engineers) whose services are in such supreme demand.