Cracking the Talent Acquisition Algorithm

How companies can create value quickly in recruiting executives

As Voltaire long ago observed, perfect is the enemy of the good. Yet in recruiting top executives, many companies forget this still serviceable bit of wisdom. They develop an inflexible profile of the ideal candidate for a role and, believing that the ideal person exists, they reject or drive away candidates who would have brought the company maximum value.

Early in the recruiting process, when companies have seen few candidates, they are especially prone to pursue the perfect, passing on candidate after candidate. They might then find themselves having to settle for someone who brings less to the table – and brings it later because of the protracted process, both delaying and diminishing the creation of value in a critical role.

A more nuanced and effective approach to making key hiring decisions may be found in the principle of “satisfice.” A combination of the words “satisfy” and “suffice,” satisfice provides guidance through complicated decisions characterized by multiple criteria and competing objectives. It’s important to understand that “satisficing” is emphatically not about settling for the merely sufficient. Rather it’s about choosing the option that has the maximum chance of being satisfactory – which is as close to the ideal as possible when making complex decisions.

In the case of executive recruitment, calculating which option satisfices is doubly difficult because companies and candidates calculate differently. Candidates have one set of criteria, each of which they weigh according to their individual circumstances, while companies have another, which they weigh according to their business needs. Companies that want to escape the trap of the perfect without settling for the merely sufficient must understand the candidate’s calculus and find a way to harmonize it with company’s calculus – in short, to reach a decision that satisfices and thereby creates maximum value quickly.

Escape the trap of the perfect in Cracking the Talent Acquisition Algorithm.

Download the full article to learn how to:

  • Make better hiring decisions
  • Increase the likelihood that selected candidates will succeed
  • Strengthen your organization’s reputation as a great place to work
  • And more!

Dave Winston is a visionary leader in the world of executive search, combining over two decades of experience with a relentless passion for his craft. As the head of Caldwell’s Industrial Practice and Dallas office, Dave brings a diverse background and a wealth of expertise to the table, having successfully placed nearly 500 C-suite, finance and P&L executives, with a focus on PE-backed manufacturing companies.

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