Performance-Based Hiring: How to Land Top Talent, Fast

Performance based hiring is exactly what it sounds like—a process used by recruiters to find and hire top talent.

This step-by-step guide will help streamline the standard recruiting processes of sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates for an effective performance based hiring strategy.

Develop A Performance Profile

The first step toward hiring top talent is to have a clear idea of the qualities and characteristics you’re looking for. We recommend that you create a detailed list of ‘must have’ characteristics for a candidate. These often consist of specific qualifications such as experience level, academic background, personality traits, and preferred skill sets.

While it may be the norm, using standardized job descriptions can be an extremely ineffective method of narrowing down your candidate pool, as these types of job descriptions don’t tie requirements to direct indicators of success.

Instead, your recruiters and hiring managers should work together to create a “Performance Profile” that consists of specific objectives that the ideal candidate should be able to successfully complete.

Keep these questions in mind to create a successful Performance Profile:

  • What specific accomplishments indicate success in this role?
  • What skills does this person need in order to be successful?
  • How will this person utilize these skills?
  • Who has previously been successful in this role?
  • What differentiated them from average performers?
  • What are the primary personal and team-based problems this individual will need to solve?

Develop a short list of actionable goals you’d like the new hire to fulfill. Be sure to use verbs such as: build, create, develop, and maintain.

Don’t Limit Your Candidate Pool

Traditionally, when it comes to sourcing talent, recruiters go after the “active” pool of candidates, the people that actively searching for employment. While this may seem like a solid tactic, it actually eliminates a large portion of potential talent. Consider these statistics (source):

  • It is estimated that 15–20% of job-seekers are “tip-toers”— employed individuals interested in new opportunities, but not actively applying for them.
  • Another 60–60% of people are defined as “truly passive candidates”— individuals content with their current positions, with no intention for change.

Lou Adler, creator of the performance based hiring method, suggests organizations implement a ratio of 2:1 passive to active candidates for the optimal sourcing mix (source).

For a more in-depth guide to recruiting passive candidates, check out this blog post: 50+ Candidate Source Statistics for Recruiters.

Conduct An “Evidence-Based Interview”

Arguably, the most important aspect in any hiring process is the interview. However, if you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t truly know if a candidate will be a good fit with your organization. The solution? An evidence-based interview.

With your performance profile in mind, ask your candidates about their major professional accomplishments. If your candidate is a top performer, they’ll most likely have a proven record for success. It should be relatively easy for a high-quality candidate to relate past achievements to the goals you have outlined in the performance profile. Keep an eye out for metrics, specific examples, and work samples.

Optimize The Candidate Experience

Finally, the last step in the performance based hiring process is to get your preferred candidate to sign an offer. Increase your chances of hiring the best candidate by optimizing the entire experience.

Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Make sure the hiring manager meets with the candidate at least twice during the interviewing process, and then contacts the prospect an additional two times during the decision-making time period.
  • The entire hiring process should be a positive experience for your candidate. Make it clear they will be supported and encouraged within the position should they accept your offer.
  • Clearly outline the expectations and growth opportunities of the position. Show your candidate specific examples of those who have previously been successful.

Ultimately, your goal during this final stage is to show your candidate that this is a can’t-miss opportunity. If you are able to successfully accomplish this, then getting them on-board should be a cinch.

To learn more about hiring top talent, contact ZoomInfo today. We have the leading database of professional profiles and the contact data you need to reach them.