Start with “Why” to hire the right candidates

Does the above job descriptions / titles sound familiar?

If you have ever tried searching a job and created an account in any of the job sites, your email would have been flooded with such job postings.

If you have posted jobs for your organization or your department, did you post a similar job description?

Well, let me break the news to you. Even if the above listings might work in sourcing applications, they have a very low probability leading to the right fit for your organization.

You might ask “Why” since that’s how your organization have been posting job description and so far it has worked fine!

Now, hiring the “right” candidate for any role requires time, effort and is quite expensive. In such a scenario, if you have not put enough screening criteria in your job listing I am sure you would have a pile of applications to go through. Often in such cases, your HR along with the hiring manager often need to spent hours shortlisting the right candidates.

But based on what?

Similar Experience, Skillsets, Education? Well, even though these are necessary checklists, they don’t ensure the right fit!

How can we ensure a culture fit from the Job Description itself?

To answer this, let me tell the story of an English adventurer Ernest Shackleton. Even though Roald Amundsen was the first person to ever reach the South pole, there was one conquest till left — Crossing of the continent through the southernmost tip of the earth. The crew consisting of Shackleton and his 27 men started on December 5, 1914. However few days out of South Georgia Island in southern Atlantic, the ship encountered mile after mile of pack ice and soon got trapped in it. The crew members however survived with the help of three life boats. Five of Shackleton’s men finally embarked on a hazardous journey to get help.

Even though the story of the expedition may not sound quite remarkable, what made this story interesting was that no one died in this expedition and they were able to support each other throughout this journey. Was this luck?No. This was because Shackleton hired good fits. So how did he actually find these “good fits”?

Shackleton put an ad in the London Times

He did not put it as “Men needed for expedition. Minimum five years experience, Must know how to hoist main sail. Come work for a fantastic captain.”

What did he achieve by this ad?

The only people who applied for the job were those who could relate with this ad. They loved insurmountable odds. Shackleton made sure he hired only those who believed in what he believed. He focused on the “Why” rather than the “What”.

Hiring the Passionate people

In his book “Start With Why”, Simon Sinek mentions how companies want to hire the “passionate” people to their organizations. However here is the thing. All the people in the wold are passionate about something. The point is whether my passion matches with yours or with the organization. Starting with the WHY dramatically increases your ability to attract the right talent whose beliefs matches with yours.

Southwest Airlines is another classic example of a company known to hire good fits. When your employees can relate to your “Why”, you don’t need to tell them “How”. They will be working hard and innovating solutions for the company, but for themselves.

The Golden Circle

As mentioned in the book, great leaders always start with “Why”. The “How” and “What” follows naturally.

Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. Unless the employees are given something bigger than their work, employees will motivate themselves to find another job.

Let me end this article with another story.

Consider the story of two stonemasons. You walk up to the first stonemason and ask, “Do you like your job?” He looks up at you and replies, “I’ve been building this wall for as long as I can remember. The work is monotonous. I work in the scorching hot sun all day. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. But it’s a job. It pays the bills.” You thank him for his time and walk on.

About thirty feet away, you walk up to a second stonemason. You ask him the same question, “Do you like your job?” He looks up and replies, “I love my job. I’m building a cathedral. Sure, I’ve been working on this wall for as long as I can remember, and yes, the work is sometimes monotonous. I work in the scorching hot sun all day. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. But I’m building a cathedral.”

WHAT these two stonemasons are doing is exactly the same; the difference is in WHY — One has a sense of purpose.

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