I’ll Know It When I See It

“I’ll know it when I see it.”

That’s what a client said the other day during a call to discuss an opening on his team. That happens to be something I have heard many times over the years from hiring leaders when talking about who they want to hire.

That statement is a product of hiring leaders being unclear in their mind about what they are looking for in an ideal candidate.

In my experience, I have learned that most hiring leaders can clearly articulate between 40-60% of what they are looking for in an ideal candidate. When you take into consideration that hiring is yet ONE more thing on their plate, you quickly see why they often wing it, and hope for the best.

It’s for this very reason that I work with my clients to create a document that goes BEFORE the job posting.

It’s a document that outlines the necessary Knowledge, Experience, and Motivators/Values (KEM/V) needed for the role.

The most powerful thing about the document is that it allows the hiring leader to unpack their thinking into something that is meant to capture what THEY want.

You see, a job posting is all about helping the candidate understand:

  • About the company in a compelling way
  • About the job in a clear, enticing and straightforward way
  • What’s in it for them (for joining your company)

So while this is important, a typical hiring process ends up skipping the most important part – what the hiring leader wants and needs.

The KEM/V doesn’t just create inputs for the job posting; it supports the entire hiring process and beyond. Once a hiring leader has thought through and captured what they want, they are better able to articulate this to the interview team that will help with the selection.

Each hiring leader wants to make the best possible hire, from the available talent in the market. Adding a KEM/V step to the start of your process allows you to bring greater intentionality to your process for hiring.

Ultimately, hiring is about thinking through and clearly understanding what a new hire needs to work towards and why it matters. When that happens, success follows as a natural result.

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