Stop selecting talent and start attracting it

Many organisations currently have problems to select the ideal person for a job. Many will think, “this isn’t new,” every selection area is focused on reaching the right number and being effective in their selection process, especially when that process is directly related to economic compensation. Nowadays, those processes are becoming more creative; recruiters launch recruitment campaigns on social media, workshops, and novel recruitment ads, where they tell you that “if you’re cool, this is the organisation for you”. All this is very valid, but we must go back to basics because we’re not selecting, we’re attracting talent to an organisation.

But what is talent? One of the most accurate definitions is that of authors Cheese, Thomas and Craig: “Talent is made up by all the experience, knowledge, skills and behaviours that a person has and that contribute to the role they have in an organisation.”

And we call it “attraction” because if we are part of an organisation whose strategic component has as a main concept its people, we want to be “attractive” to have an above-average visibility, to become the best choice and so that the potential employee can contribute, with their experiences, knowledge, skills and behaviours, the best to the organisation. Moreover, it’s important that that their life project is aligned to the company’s vision, that they can easily adapt to its culture and, finally, that it’s a win-win arrangement in terms of profitability for the organisation and the potential employee.

That’s when the job interview, which is crucial in a talent attraction process, becomes one of the most important tools to determine whether this potential employee is appropriate for the role, because during the interview we can determine their experience and knowledge. However, it’s incomplete if we don’t have psychometric tools to measure their skills and behaviours. One of those tools is the PDA Assessment (Personal Development Analysis), which is so successful because it provides a numeric (quantitative) value to a qualitative trait. Haven’t you had a process with a shortlist of potential employees for a vacancy in which the immediate boss couldn’t decide for any of them? The answer is this: the argument in the talent attraction process must become measurable in experience, knowledge, skills and behaviours.

In my experience with this tool (PDA), a group of potential employees can have different ways of behaving (in PDA this is called “behavioural profile”), for example: being more accurate, or more empathic, or more daring when making decisions. But what is always the same is the range (numeric value) of the skills they have. To continue with the example, each of these potential employees may present one of these three behaviours very noticeably in their profile (accuracy, empathy, decision making), but their leadership, communication and team work skills in the ranges determined and established by the organisation may be very similar or almost equal.

That’s when these measuring (psychometric) tools such as the PDA Assessment help to carry out a full, successful talent attraction process, without so much wear for the organisation in terms of money and people, which makes them more profitable and happier, and turns the organisation into a place where everyone wants to work and develop their life project.