Yes, that’s right, never hire a person or fill a vacancy ever again. The words we use influence the outcomes. When we “hire people” we are thinking about quantity – having enough people to do the task. This mindset causes us to ask these types of questions:

  • How many hours are you available?
  • What days can you work?
  • Can you work weekends?
  • Are you available to travel?

All of these questions might be important, but in isolation, they only work when we want to fill empty seats with warm bodies. They fail to tell us about the quality and capabilities of the individual that we might want to add to our team.

When we talk about the hiring process using phrases like “hiring people” and “filling positions,” we will get people hired and positions filled.  Vacancies will disappear, and people will “take orders/fill orders, deliver products, and complete assignments.

However, do this one thing differently and watch how the whole process transforms into something else entirely. Instead of hiring people, think in terms of “selecting talent.”

Think about how words transform thinking and produce a different outcome.

Selection: When we select, rather than hire, the focus shifts to finding someone with the best skill set for the role, rather than filling an empty seat.  The word selection compels us to ask candidates about their unique skills and abilities that will unique contributions to my team. When we “select,” weI aim at identifying someone who will not only grow the organization, but also someone who can be stewarded and nurtured for additional future opportunities as well.

Talent: What do I mean when I say talent? I mean individuals who want more than simply “finding a job.” Talent is eager to be a part of the purpose and mission of the organization.

When we seek talent, rather than hires, we’re looking for people whose character matches the organization, whose competency matches the role and whose chemistry matches the team.  When we seek talent, rather than hires, we’re looking for people whose character matches the organization, whose competency matches the role and whose chemistry matches the team. When we seek talent, we look for people whose character matches the organization, whose competency matches the role and whose chemistry matches the team. Click To Tweet When that’s our goal, we ask questions like these:

  • Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge at work? How did your resolve it? What were the results?
  • What qualities do you find most important in a leader? How have you displayed those qualities in your previous roles?
  • Give me an example of someone who have developed on your team? How did you identify the developmental needs? What feedback did you give the team member? What steps did you take to ensure success for the team member?

Just for a moment, imagine the possibilities and think about the difference and impact this simple choice could make. What would happen if we  stopped hiring people and began investing time and resources in selecting talent? Imagine how a shift in thinking could transform a process. I will choose talent every time. Which one will you choose?