Understanding “Head-Pin” Thinking
I have been blessed to learn so much from the people I have hired in my own businesses. I once hired a CTO who introduced me to “head pin” thinking. In bowling, you cannot achieve a strike without hitting the head pin. When we solve business problems, we need to be aware of the “head pin”—the one thing we must get right in order to have any chance at success. “Head pin” thinking can be valuable in approaching many challenges, but it can be particularly helpful in landing your next great hire.
Here are four important ways to understand how “head-pin” thinking works:
1. Clarity is Key
When it comes to making great hires, the crucial “head pin” is clarity. Clarity aligns stakeholders around the critical elements of a role. Stakeholders aren’t typically aligned on most roles, but well-aligned stakeholders interview more effectively and thus choose the best candidates more effectively. Clarity also allows stakeholders to communicate cohesively with candidates. Top candidates are quickly scared off by feeling like stakeholders aren’t aligned on the role.
Clarity is the “head pin” because it allows organizations to make hiring decisions quickly and with confidence.
2. Attract the Right Candidates
Clarity also allows recruiters to effectively target and qualify. Recruiters are better equipped to develop the appropriate messaging that will resonate with top candidates if they’re clear on what the role truly entails. Ultimately, clarity allows hiring managers and recruiters to develop the unique career proposition that will attract the right candidates. The best candidates get a lot of recruiting attention, so precise and engaging messaging in job postings, emails, Inmails, and phone calls are critical in winning the attention of elite candidates.
3. Ensure Success After Hire
Effectively cutting through the noise is a gamechanger, and clarity gets us to “yes” with the very best candidates. Candidates being confident in my client’s understanding of what exactly the candidate was signing up for has been the reason why so many candidates have chosen to work for our clients over other suitors. As an added bonus, clarity also helps ensure success after hire. Even the most elite performers fail when they sign up for the wrong role or when hiring stakeholders have judged the person’s success in nonsynchronous terms.
4. Our Solution: The Ideal Candidate Blueprint™
At TeamBuilder Search, we use our Ideal Candidate Blueprint™ process to gain the clarity necessary for success. We’ve been developing and refining the Ideal Candidate Blueprint™ since 2008.
Regardless of what process you use, when you’re aiming to gain the clarity required to hire leadership roles, you must define these nine things: values alignment, a role mission statement which supports the organizational mission, the most critical outcomes the role will be accountable for, how those outcomes will be measured, the experiences and skills necessary to achieve those outcomes, the most critical communications the role is responsible for, a 90 day success ramp, likely causes of failure, and a unique career proposition.
With a well-facilitated process, you should get the clarity you need in one to three hours, but the number of hiring stakeholders is usually the predominant factor in how much time it takes to gain the necessary clarity.
At TeamBuilder Search, we are typically after the top 5% of talent. Hiring great leadership is like playing a championship game with every outing—the line between success and failure is razor thin. Hit the headpin, and you have a real chance of winning.
Contact us for more information on our Ideal Candidate Blueprint™ and other recruiting processes.
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