Merriam-Webster defines a blueprint as “a detailed plan of something to be done.” If you have ever tried to find the right person for a role, you know how difficult that task can be. When it comes to capturing the essence of a role or defining what is important to a role, job descriptions often fall short. In this case, it may be best to use an Ideal Candidate BlueprintTM.
Why do we use blueprints?
In a basic sense, we use blueprints to ensure we get what we want. If you wouldn’t attempt to build your dream house without a blueprint, you shouldn’t attempt to find your next great hire without a blueprint. After all, your next hire could be far more valuable than your house. Here are seven reasons to use an Ideal Candidate BlueprintTM:
It is very difficult to move efficiently forward when people or principles are not clearly aligned. We often witness this mistake: stakeholders are not aligned in the interview process. Stakeholders assume they are in agreement on the general aspects of the position, but they haven’t taken the time to clearly articulate or agree upon how a candidate will be evaluated. Create an Ideal Candidate BlueprintTM in order to align stakeholders and facilitate the interview process.
Align stakeholders on the right things. At minimum, effective blueprints include:
- Attributes (based on requirements of the role and cultural fit)
There many formats for candidate blueprints, so consider them carefully. Choose one that best fits your situation. Create a blueprint in order to align stakeholders on the right things – the things that best enable organizational success.
Once an Ideal Candidate Blueprint is created, create a subsequent interview blueprint. Interview blueprints enable all interviewers to judge candidates on common criteria. As recruiters, we’ve seen people interview candidates with nothing more than personal opinion or preference. We’ve seen people interview candidates for the wrong position entirely. Furthermore, we’ve seen candidates dismissed by interviewers for not having the “right” type of personal mobile device! The candidate wasn’t even asked why they had that particular type of phone, and the phone had nothing to do with the job. Avoid encounters like these. Create an interview blueprint to minimize the role of interviewer emotions and personal preferences. Create an interview blueprint to help interviewers focus on candidates’ actual qualifications.
Promote Interviewer Objectivity
Studies indicate that interviewers make a subconscious decision to deem a candidate “in” or “out” within the first 90 seconds of an interview. It is human nature to hire who we like based on other unrelated emotions we’re experiencing at that time. We began incorporating blueprints into our hiring process in 2008, and we are still amazed at how often individual feelings about a candidate conflict with the Ideal Candidate Blueprint. Create an Ideal Candidate Blueprint in order to minimize subjectivity and maximize objectivity in the interview process.
Focus on Strengths over Weaknesses
There is an exercise which asks people to look at a large piece of paper with a dot in the center. When asked what they see, people always respond “a dot.” They completely miss the large, blank space around it. It’s easy for interviewers to focus on small weaknesses and miss the huge strengths entirely. We all have weaknesses, but we also all have strengths. Our unique abilities and experiences are often what make us qualified for a particular role. We don’t want to make weaknesses irrelevant in performance evaluations, but we also don’t want to lose sight of the big picture. Sometimes a person’s weakness is a good reason not to hire them, but that is a discussion for another blog post. Do not lose sight of the large blank area because of a small dot. Create an Ideal Candidate Blueprint to focus interviewers on candidates’ strengths.
Consider Candidate Wellbeing
Prioritizing “job” ahead of “individual” is typically not a good thing. When we hire someone, we significantly impact their future. Career transition and career building greatly affect the candidate’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of their families. We owe it to every new hire to place them in a role in which they can succeed. Hiring the wrong person is often worse for that person than it is for the company. Create an Ideal Candidate Blueprint to spare candidates the detriment of being hired into a role in which they can’t succeed.
An attorney friend recently shared with us that government regulation and employer burden is growing so quickly that some companies re-assess their handbooks every four months. Employers live in daunting times. Create an Ideal Candidate Blueprint to ensure consistent interviewing and fair hiring practices.
Most hiring mistakes can be overcome by more precise aligning and targeting. Better alignment and targeting results in more effective interviewing, greater objectivity, and better legal protections. It can be challenging to find the right person for a role. Facilitate the process by creating an Ideal Candidate Blueprint. Contact us for clarification on creating or utilizing an Ideal Candidate Blueprint.