How To Leverage Newly Reported Job Outlook Optimism & Recruit Great Talent

*As originally seen on Forbes.com

Optimism regarding finding a quality job is at an all-time high.

“For the first time since Gallup began tracking the question in 2001, a majority of Americans (54%) say it is a ‘good time’ to find a quality job.” What’s created this massive upward swing?

Also per Gallup: “People’s optimism is affected by the political lens through which they view the country’s economic health. However, the overall trend in the quality job measure has generally tracked with official statistics about how the job market is doing, including the severe drop after the Great Recession and the improved outlook in recent years as unemployment has reached the lowest point in a decade.”

How can you leverage this improved climate of optimism? As a leader/organization seeking quality talent, or as the talent looking for a quality role, here’s how you can get tuned up and ready to maximize this rise in optimism in the job market.

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Leaders: Leverage Optimism And Recruit Great Talent

If you are a leader, this may be a great time to dust off your current impact descriptions. If you are still using job descriptions, this may be a great time to create impact descriptions.

Impact Description – Not Job Description

Impact descriptions help both your team and your candidates to understand that every role exists to impact the organization in some specific way.

Here are some of the items we recommend including in an impact (formerly known as job) description.

• Who we are (company mission, vision, values)

• Who you are (describe who a successful fit is)

• Why this role matters (how the role impacts others—both internally and externally)

• Who your internal customers are and how this role delivers value to them

• Responsibilities

• Requirements

• Performance metrics/KPIs for this role

• Potential career path (possible roles this role could evolve into, and/or job skills and leadership skills to be gained)

• Leadership level of role (see leadership levels graphic)

• Learning and development opportunities

• Compensation

• Once you have the right person in the right role, they need to understand and agree with what is expected of them.

The biggest net-net of having impact descriptions is they create a smaller pool of talent which is more clearly aligned with what you want to achieve with a given role. A smaller pool that is closer to what you want saves time and energy, and will ensure your next team member is the best candidate for your organization.

Redefine Recruiting

Once impact descriptions are used, our clients find that if they recruit for values and accountability, then the talent they interview are completely aligned with the values of their organization. Recruiting for values and accountability is a great way to leverage this boost in optimism around finding quality jobs.

Many clients ask for help in streamlining their recruiting processes. Here’s how we often find that they are going wrong:

• Candidates aren’t being screened for alignment with company values

• Candidates aren’t being asked enough self-revealing questions

• Recruiters aren’t using rapport techniques to powerfully put candidates at ease—which would result in them revealing who they are

A job interview is a candidate’s “Rock Star Moment”—they’re showing you their best face, so it’s up to the recruiter to ensure that it’s an accurate face, a face we can rely on, a face that is representative of who they truly are. Here’s a sample list of recruiting questions that apply to all roles in a company:

• Which of our company values are most aligned with your personal values? Why?

• Please tell me some times in your career when you’ve most powerfully embodied our values?

• What are the five career accomplishments you are most proud of? Why?

• What are five adjectives used to describe you by: colleagues, bosses, friends, yourself?

• What makes a working environment most compelling?

• Where do you want to be career-wise in three years? Five years?

• What is your mission in life and why would working with us help you achieve it?

• What is the most important thing in life? How do you ensure you honor it?

• Please tell us a bit about your past entrepreneurial experiences and why/how you’d fit in with us.

• [Add all of your role-specific questions here]

Using the two processes above will ensure that you have the right talent to rock the right role.

If you are on the other side of the coin, talent that is looking for a quality job, here’s what you may want to consider.

Talent: Revisit Your Values And Polish Up Your Skills

Are you looking for a quality job with a company that is in alignment with who you are and the talents you possess? We suggest you dive into the following two areas:

Revisit Your Values

When’s the last time you really got in touch with your values?

Values will remind you of who you are and what your life is worth living for. Identifying your values is a process of discovery, a journey inward to who you really are. It is important to understand that your Values Compass is only as accurate and effective as the accuracy of the values you identify. By aligning your goals with your values and referring to them when faced with difficult decisions, the sense of struggle, overwhelm, and frustration in your life can virtually be eliminated. This does take time, but it is so worth it!

Think about a time in your life when things were very good. This would be a time when you were totally “at choice,” the best time in your life. Look at the values list below (or add your own) and identify five words on the list that were totally present for you during that time in your life. What values on that list were being totally honored during that time in your life?

Now repeat those same two steps, only think about one of the worst times in your life. This would be a time when you felt trapped, like you had no choices, a time when you were sort of at “rock bottom.” Identify the words on the list of values which were not  being honored for you during the time you described. Which of these words were clearly not present for you during that time in your life?

Though this process, you will experience crystal clear clarity on your values, which is important because you want to work with a company that has values that mesh with our own.

That way you are totally aligned.

Polish Up Your Skills

Are you ready to make sure you are the ‘rock star talent’ that the company you want to work with won’t overlook? We suggest self-evaluating (and maybe even ask a peer for feedback) if you are strong in these four brain-based areas.

1. Focus: ability to zoom in and zoom out, see big picture and little picture

2. Learning: ability to swiftly learn and retain information

3. Personal: knowing yourself and demonstrating self-regulation

4. Social: skills to read people accurately and skill to influence

*I go in depth regarding these areas in my previous blog: “Want To Be Promoted? Cultivate These 4 Traits.”

Trust me, spending some time polishing up your skills in these areas will increase your chance of landing your dream job drastically.

How will you leverage this massively improved climate of optimism?

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