Beyond the Resume – How to Bring the Best Candidates Into Your Company

Earlier this week I taught one of my favorite courses, Career Visioning. Career Visioning is designed to help business owners identify and hire talent using a proven model and system. It’s more than just reviewing a resume. It’s about understanding the right behavioral match, diving deep into a candidate’s track record of success, and truly understanding what makes a candidate tick.

I’ve taken this class a handful of times and taught it over a dozen times more over the past two years. Every time I learn something new or some portion of the class is exactly what I needed to hear that week or month. That’s why we tell people they must take this course over and over again. It’s not simply about mastering the material, but understanding how to use it and what it means for you in various stages of your business. You’re only going to absorb and use what information you need at the time. So, if you and your business are growing, then six months from now, you’re going to need a new piece of this course to implement and help you and your business grow.

This time around, one piece really stood out to me. The difference between a hiring manager, a recruiter and a career consultant. Here’s what Career Visioning tells us:

  • Hiring Manager – Offers a salary to engage a person’s services
  • Recruiters – Enrolls or enlists people to their organization through persuasion
  • Career Visioning Consultants – Gets into business with talent by demonstrating value

Now, there is certainly a place for each of these types of individuals in an organization, especially as they grow and become more complex. Hiring often fills short term needs and recruiting can fill both short terms needs and help you build a bench of talent for the future. However, at the end of the day, the best way to find the right talent is by acting as a career consultant. You always have the right candidate, you just may not have the right position for them right now or even have the right opportunity at your organization. Helping a candidate make the next best move in their career, whether that is at your company or somewhere else, is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. And if you happen to career vision that talented candidate into your organization, even better.

When acting as a career consultant you are focused on adding value to every single person you take through your hiring process. It is not just about you and your company’s immediate needs. It’s a process that focuses on the opportunities you can create together, now or in the future. Resumes only tell part of the story. You need more than a piece of paper to determine whether or not a candidate is going to be the right fit for your organization and whether your organization is the right fit for them.

Our talent acquisition processes involves several stakeholders and over 10 steps including a screening interview, behavior and personality assessment, life story, and group interview. One of the most important components of our process to determine whether or not a candidate is the best fit for our company is the Life Story.

By the time we get to the Life Story interview, we’ve already spent several hours with our candidates. Remember, we want our candidates to interview us, just as much as we are interviewing them, and above all else, we are consultants. Our focus is helping candidates identify their next career move. The Life Story gives us tremendous insight and helps us achieve this goal. The Life Story is designed to go beyond what the candidate has done in order to discover why and how they did it, as well as what they learned from those experiences. Another key part of the Life Story is to identify the candidates trajectory based on the information they share. Then it is your goal to hire people on a huge trajectory who are still trending upwards. Hire them. Then hold on! 

When conducting a Life Story you usually get a flip chart and position that in front of the candidate so they can see all the notes that you are writing. It’s a collaborative experience. You want the candidate to be in it with you. The Life Story dives deep into the resume and beyond to encompass their complete professional biography starting with the last time the candidate was in school and moving forward. The goal is to identify the defining moments in the candidate’s life and go deep into what the event was, what happened, and what they learned. This is really where patterns of behavior and thinking begin to emerge. With each event, we discuss what the highs and the lows of that experience were. As the career consultant, you are taking notes and writing down what the candidate says – noting their exact words here (as much as possible) is important. Do certain words keep coming up over and over again? Pay attention. A great way to end the Life Story and wrap up the conversation is to thank them for their candor and ask them what title they would give to their professional biography.

The Life Story helps you dive deep and determine if the opportunity you have now (or one in the future) is going to be the next best step for the candidate. We have taken many great candidates through our Career Visioning processes and consulted them onto other career paths (even though we would have liked to bring them into our world!). But that is the entire point of this process. Staying neutral, staying in curiosity, and providing value to the candidates so that they can make the right move for them. If that happens to be with you company – great! And if not, you’ve still done your duty as a career consultant.

Whatever hiring and interviewing process you use, it’s important to use models and tools that take you beyond the resume. The resume is a great place to start, but it rarely, if ever tells the whole story. How do you determine if a candidate is the right fit for your company?

Interested in learning more about Career Visioning and the entire Leverage Series? Email us and find out when and where we are teaching next!


    1. Post

      Definitely. Career Visioning is the road map to understand yourself and others to figure out who will best align with your vision for your organization and help you grow.

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