How Companies Identify And Retain Fantastic Talent with Dr. Eric Frazer & Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series, Real Human Resources

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Top Talent Psychology Human Resources Hiring Strategies

The biggest superstars don’t need to be in the limelight for every success, short-term or long-term. Focus on candidates who show pride in the work, not just the outcome.

As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Eric Frazer.

Dr. Eric Frazer, Psy.D. is the author of The Psychology Of Top Talent. His experience includes helping businesses identify, hire and retain top talent by leveraging a unique blend of clinical psychology, positive psychology research, and more.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share 5 techniques that you currently use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job that companies want to fill?

1. Include asynchronous video in the application phase. This streamlines the first steps to screen candidates for top talent skills in an efficient manner, that can still be personalized through video with warm and compelling pre-recorded introductions.

2. Determine which soft-skills you are seeking and use standardized and quantifiable methods to differentiate candidates with less bias. Companies using behavioral interviewing capture some of the soft-skills, but it’s possible to take a more scientific approach. Structured Professional Judgement (SPJ) is a method that queries psychological characteristics “psychological competencies” that have been identified in behavioral science research as predictors for success. Secondly, the SPJ approach quantifies the presence or absence of those traits so there is a method to compare candidates with less bias.

3. Use digital forms with a pool of potential questions to collect data from references with auto-reminders with deadlines. References are key, but often difficult to nail down on a schedule. By using digital forms, with auto-reminders set, key information can be received from multiple sources of data which increases the validity of your hiring decision.

4. Stop using assessment instruments that have not been validated with Millennials or Generation Z. It’s key to understand that all psychological tests are developed using groups of people; ideally, one that captures a balance of workforce demographics. A significant limitation for instrument assessment in the hiring process is that current test theories and psychological Instruments themselves have not been validated or developed with the younger and up-and-coming workforce generations. Why does this matter? They have different beliefs, mindsets, and ways of thinking about the world as a generation that is different than prior generations. Simply put, you have to compare apples to apples.

5. Thoroughly query expectations of candidates to more precisely determine cultural fit. One of the biggest misalignments that exist for companies today is a cultural fit. Think about why many dating relationships fail. There was a certain set of expectations that over time were unfulfilled. The same principle of alignment exists in the organizational cultural fit. Applicants who are promised to have their expectations fulfilled, but do not, are likely to become tomorrow’s voluntary exits. A number of companies propose a commitment to professional development, but really fall short on that promise and leave employees feeling major disappointment.

With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top 3 ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you first?

1. Be person-centered. This comes from origins in Humanistic Psychology that focuses on the type of leadership attributes frequently identified today: creativity, positive human potential, and actualization. We are in a ‘people mattering’ economy, and you need to be able to show this in your organization’s culture. Think Zappos.

2. Long term goal alignment. Leaders relish in a commitment to long term goals. But, they have to align. Find candidates who already have a life-long learning commitment to some of the core values and innovation in your organization.

3. Humility. The biggest superstars don’t need to be in the limelight for every success, short-term or long-term. Focus on candidates who show pride in the work, not just the outcome.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I’m part of the mindfulness movement, as a meditator, and coach. It’s a simple, free, method to help people relax simply through their breathing. This elicits many positive benefits proven by neuroscience that help people feel better.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Measure Twice, Cut Once.”

This speaks to a good habit of efficiency and effectiveness.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?

I just finished reading Andre Agassi’s biography “Open”, and would welcome lunch with him to really learn more about the psychological battles he confronted and overcame. There’s some real valuable lessons there.

Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!

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