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Three Rules For Evaluating Top Talent, The Right Way | S1:E8

  • Episode 7
  • 'Inside Executive Search' Podcast

    Attracting, selecting, and retaining top talent is a challenge for many businesses. Join long-time executive search professional Scott Peterson, alongside Steve Yakesh, President of Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search at one of the leading executive search firms, to discuss insights and techniques to assist companies to achieve their best results. If you’re an executive leader looking for advice on hiring the best talent for your company, you’ll want to hear this advice from these industry experts.

    Steve Yakesh | President, Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search

    As President of Direct Hire & Executive Search, Steve Yakesh leads Versique’s award-winning permanent placement division with more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, he guides strategy for Versique’s twelve practice areas, including IT, HR, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Operations, Sales, CPG, Digital Marketing, Executive Retained Search, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Family Owned and Demand Generation.

    Scott Peterson | Vice President, Executive Leadership Search

    Scott Peterson leads the Retained Executive Search division at Versique as the Senior Practice Director. In his role, Scott fills critically-important senior level positions such as CEO, CFO, CIO, COO. Scott has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting. Additionally, Scott has also served on the Board of Directors the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Medina Golf and Country Club, as well as several youth sports organizations.

    Podcast Transcription

    Speaker_1: 00:01 Get ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You’re listening to Inside Executive Search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson.
    Speaker_3: 00:29 Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search podcast. My name is Steve Yakesh and this show is for business owners, board members and executives, exploring strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain the very best. If you’re not feeling 100% confident that you have a plan to recruit the very best for your key roles, keep listening. This podcast will help you get there. That said, I’d like to bring in Scott Peterson from Versique Search.
    Speaker_4: 00:56 Great to be back again this week. Episode Eight. Unbelievable, that we’re still doing this week after week.
    Speaker_3: 01:02 Time flies! So last week we talked about who should be part of the selection process. This week we’re going to be discussing three key elements you should be evaluating for during the selection process. Those three, Scott, as you know, are culture fit, job and or skills fit and then career fit, correct?
    Speaker_4: 01:23 Yeah. We talked about the, in some earlier podcasts, if anybody wants to go back to the early ones and refresh. The archives. Yes, the archives. There you go. All right, well let’s start with culture fit. Well you know what, let’s do this, let’s start with job fit because that’s the easiest part. Those are the bullet points on the positions spec, number of years’ experience, ect. This is really the one that says, here’s the job description, right, here’s the requirements, here’s what I want for education, here’s what I want for years of experience, here’s the what I want for positions, here’s what I want their experiences to be. Did they have experience with acquisitions, international expansion, those kinds of things. It’s a lot easier to go through resume to jobs spec and say, this person’s a fit on paper, right? So that’s the easy circle of these three circles the easiest one to match a resume to. The other two are much more challenging. It takes more effort. It takes more of the ar
    Speaker_3: 02:40 What guidance would you give people? Yeah, I would say they don’t have to have all 12 or 15 or 20 of these checked off. There is not going to be a perfect candidate no matter what job spec, but you do certainly have ones that we consider no goes. If they don’t have these five, we’re not going to move them into the interview process. So, yes, I would rank them as must haves and if they don’t have that, then it is a no go and then sort of these have these next five, whatever the number is, these next five are really, we’d like to see those. Then there’s ones that are, yeah, these would be great to have, but if they don’t, it doesn’t kill the in the process from interviewing.
    Speaker_3: 03:36 Yeah. And I’ve heard are our clients, hey, here’s our top five. Don’t even show me the candidates if they don’t have. Right. Right. Then you have, let’s say the next five, they probably need to have three and a half, four out of those five, the next five, hey, if they have two out of the next five, no brainer.
    Speaker_4: 03:55 Yeah. That’s a great way to look at it. It allows the recruiter, again, whether it’s an internal recruiter or an external firm like us the ability to say this person has these five, they have three of the next five and have one of the next, then they’re a viable candidate for this job based on job fit.
    Speaker_3: 04:14 Perfect. Okay. So then let’s talk about culture fit, but I’m going to expand it to more culture and company fit because culture can be somewhat interpreted differently from a lot of different people. So walk us through that.
    Speaker_4: 04:29 Yeah, first you have to understand what your culture is, right? And so internally, what is the pace of the organization? What’s the style of the organization? Is it chaotic? Is it crazy? Is it fast paced? Is it laid back is it casual? Process heavy? Yeah. Process heavy or entrepreneurial sort of heavy. Understanding that, getting that down on paper, right. So that when you are evaluating, and we’ll talk about that in a future episode, evaluating the people that came through the interview process, you have something to gauge against, right? So then do they, do they fit into that culture? Do they come from a similar culture or do they have experiences with that? This is a really a task that you’ve got to go through internally to understand, hey, let’s get this down on paper and then we use that as an evaluation
    Speaker_3: 05:21 criteria. Perfect. And next week we’re going to give strategy tactics on how to do just that. That’s correct. Yeah. Right. Okay. So the third piece, which I think is the one that gets overlooked the most in my opinion, but career fit. So talk us through that.
    Speaker_4: 05:37 This one’s a little bit harder to do when you’re using an internal recruiting team because when you have someone to respond to an ad or someone that gets recruited into the company versus using an external firms. So if you’re using an external form, what we would do is we would walk through what’s motivating this candidate? What are they looking for for their next career move? So we wouldn’t send them anybody that doesn’t fit this already. The challenge, when you do it internally, you’re going to have to do it during the interview process, but still nonetheless, super critical because you want that alignment, right? You want the right person at the right point of their career with the right opportunity. Otherwise they’re going to leave you in one to three years because they didn’t see that career fit over a longer period of time than that.
    Speaker_3: 06:29 Yup. Yeah. I think we’ve seen it all too many times where a candidate comes into a role, which is a great fit or the really good next move for them, but they have higher aspirations in year three, four and five, then a company can provide them and then they leave their organizations.
    Speaker_4: 06:47 That’s right. Yeah. So you want to really want to align not only what the current position is, but what’s the future for this potential candidate as well.
    Speaker_3: 06:54 Perfect. So you’re going to interview for those three cultures slash company fed jobs slash skills slash experience fit, and then career fit. Those are the three elements and there’s a lot of interviewing tactics, strategies that we’ll discuss next week to do just that, but give me your opinions, Scott, how much during this whole process should you be focused on evaluating versus selling your company and courting the candidate?
    Speaker_4: 07:26 That’s a great question and I think in this labor market today the balance between evaluating and then selling the opportunity or selling the company has to be equal. These people have choices in terms of opportunities, so what’s going to come getting back to what we talked about, building that compelling story, right? It gets back to articulating why this is the right place for that candidate, so you shouldn’t be afraid to sell your organization because you’re going to still evaluate them based on these criteria. And again, we’ll talk more about that next week, but it doesn’t stop you from wanting to get them excited to want to work there. It doesn’t mean you’re going to choose them, but you just need to keep them engaged in the process.
    Speaker_3: 08:16 Yeah, and I think also just not only selling in representing your company, but also being transparent on any flaws or areas that you’re trying to get improved upon because you don’t want to just sell something that doesn’t exist, right? Because you might attract them and get them into your organization, but if the resort doesn’t match the brochure, you’re going to leave. Right.
    Speaker_4: 08:40 That’s a really good analogy. Yeah, that’s exactly right. Perfect.
    Speaker_3: 08:44 Okay, well, hey, that wraps up this episode and like we said, next week we’re going to be jumping into the different strategies, tactics on how to evaluate all three of those main components, culture, job, and career, but as always, if you want to get ahold of Scott, you can look them up on LinkedIn and, or visit Like we always say, we are on most of the major podcast channels, Apple podcast, Spotify, iHeart Media, ect. So, please go out there and subscribe and a little selfish plug, if you like what you hear, give us one of those five-star reviews that will always help, right? We always like five star reviews. Perfect. Well, thanks everybody and we will talk to you next week.

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