As an organizational psychologist I’ve been involved in quite a few hiring initiatives and one thing is for sure: the way we vet and hire new employees in this country is more often than not a pretty haphazard experience. Bringing on new talent is arguably the most important decision a manger will make yet it is often one that is hastily made out of desperation with very little rigor to back it up. There is no doubt that making the right choice is not easy, but we can certainly do a better job of making it easier on ourselves.
According to Emily Miethner, Founder and CEO of Findspark, it all starts with how and where you source your candidates. In the digital mobile world sourcing has certainly become more robust, but it’s still far from perfect. Miethner believes the most critical factor in making a good hiring decision is the ability to spot hustle. Quite simply, it’s about spotting those candidates who have the drive and desire to get things done. So, this begged the question: Where do you go to find candidates with hustle?
As there was no easy answer to this question Miethner decided to create her own answer. She knew recruiters needed a reliable source where they could spot young aspiring professionals with that coveted hustle, so she dug into her background in producing events to solve the challenge and created Hustle Summit.
Hustle Summit is a blend of both digital and physical mediums designed to optimize the ability of recruiters to seek out those candidates with the kind of hustle that Miethner believes makes them stand out. Miethner describes Hustle Summit as “a gathering of college students and young professionals who have a history of getting sh*t done.” When it comes to engaging young candidates Miethner recommends the following:
Look to Spot Hustle
When it comes to spotting hustle Miethner provided a simple, yet powerful, example from her role as an adjunct professor. She noted “the students I remember are the ones who actively participated in class and engaged me outside of class.” Essentially, they were ones who took the time to demonstrate their interest put forth the effort to get the most from their learning experience. In the increasingly competitive global business world hustle is a critical edge.
Miethner pointed out that not only do they know how to get on your radar they also know how to stay on it. Just as great salespeople keep their prospects warm so to do great young job seekers keep their recruiters warm.
They also “make their own experiences” to fill what may be perceived resume gaps and better position themselves as candidates because they realize that nobody is stopping them from pursuing create ways for filling those experience gaps through volunteering, internships, or even self-created initiatives.
Learn How They Engage Your Brand
Interacting with candidates both in-person and across digital platforms allows you to really pay attention to how they engage with your brand. Do they understand your brand and are they genuinely drawn to what the brand represents? Miethner advises recruiters to start by searching to see if and how they are using their social and mobile platforms to talk about your brand. Also, look to see how their connections are responding.
Tease Out Their Positives
Miethner feels that far too many recruiters focus on finding the negative so as to screen candidates out. The challenge with this approach is that it only tells you half the story. Remember, hiring is about bringing people in, not keeping people out. She encourages recruiters to look for the positives and proactively draw them out in conversation. Take the time to consider how their talents can be used as assets to the organization and in courting them.
Proactively Engage Them Across Platforms
Miethner notes that great recruiters understand they need to engage candidates before, during, and after events. She advises recruiters to live tweet and post their positive experiences with all their prospects. She also believes it’s helpful to call out compelling candidates on social media and let them know your positive feedback, so as to peak their interest, but also prompt them to share with their pool of friends who may also be potential candidates.