An Open Letter to Talent Acquisition: Your CEO Doesn’t Care About Hiring the Best People

Dear Talent Leaders,

There’s something big we need to discuss. Your CEO has been lying to you. I bet they’re proud to say “people are the most important part of the business”, however, for decades, they’ve been underinvesting in their people, and it’s causing HUGE problems. I know this because for years, I was saying the same thing as a CEO and not doing enough about it. Most companies are not bringing the best people into their business and are then struggling to retain great talent. In fact, across the US, only 50% of people hired stay in their roles for more than a year (a problem of hiring, in my opinion), and it’s costing companies billions of dollars annually.

We all know how much the universe has changed…forever. Things like work from home, DEI, and the war for talent changed the way we work very quickly. So, why hasn’t the way in which we recruit talent progressed with the times? Change gives you, Talent Acquisition leaders, the power to modernize old processes and attract and hire the best candidates. I’ve spoken with a few teams that have made significant changes, and they have no problem getting great talent.

Getting the right people into a business means you have to attract the right candidates and then convert them into employees. The vast majority of Talent Acquisition teams spend most of their time and budget on the ‘attracting’ part, but the biggest opportunity for the vast majority of companies lies in ‘converting them’ through the interview process. So, if you’re still interviewing the same way you were three years ago, moving old face-to-face interview methods over to video…it’s time to change. Times have changed (rapidly), technology has changed (rapidly)...most organizations have fallen behind, and it’s affecting their ability to thrive.

Why is this such a big problem?

I think I’m about to state the obvious here, but let me do it anyway… 

If we operate under the premise that the best organizations are built by the best teams, then the best have to be hired. 

The interview process provides the biggest opportunity to attract the best. It has always been broken…having two people sit in a room for an hour and then one person comes out saying that they want to hire them (and repeating this multiple times), is hardly an effective process. It’s drawn-out, full of bias, and uninsightful, meaning companies miss out on top talent and new hires don’t stick around long enough to make a real impact.

I could give you a list of 20 reasons why the old process is broken. Here’s my top 3: 

1.) Interviewers have never been trained on how to interview effectively

2.) Hiring managers are making decisions on vague feedback from interviews where no one knows what’s really been discussed

3.) Interview experiences are inconsistent across candidates

How do you fix it? 

Fixing the problem doesn’t have to be hard. There are many easy fixes that can make a huge difference in the quality of your hiring. Here are a few:

1.) Train your interviewers: interviews are a two-way street. Providing prospective candidates with a great experience is crucial while you analyze job fit and their ability to perform the role. There are tools out there that can help (hit me up, I know a few!).

2.) Using data vs. secondhand gut feeling: being able to replay candidates’ interview answers back-to-back against each other is a game changer for decision making. Even just having transparency into what candidates actually said in the interview is a huge benefit.

3.) Structuring your interviews: outlining what skills are going to be discussed and having your interviewers know how they are building the overall picture of a candidate allows you to objectively assess and compare candidates. This helps speed up hiring decisions.

I believe that people are the most important part of a business, and this starts with bringing the best people into the business through more efficient, effective, and equitable hiring. None of this has to be hard, especially with the new batch of tools available that make interviewing better for both you and your candidates. 

I’ll end this letter with a quote from Tim Sackett. As mentioned during our July webinar, “If you’re not giving your team the technology they need to select better hires, you’re stuck in the stone ages.”

Don’t be one of those organizations. Drop me a line here, and we can discuss how I can help. 

Cheers to growing better with every hire,

Mark Simpson

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