How Companies Identify Talent with Barbie Adler & Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series, Real Human Resources

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Selective Search Human Resources Hiring Strategies

Love conquers all. It is the unspoken language that every human being and animal can understand.

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 Barbie Adler.

Barbie Adler is the founder of Selective Search, a firm where executive recruiting meets personal matchmaking.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?

My mom was a psychologist who led healthy communications classes for marriage in our living room. I would sit at the top of the steps and eavesdrop on her sessions — I was fascinated by the subject matter and knew I wanted to help others in the same capacity. Eventually, after a very successful career in executive search, I decided to follow that passion and launch Selective Search, combining my expertise in recruiting top talent with my passion for helping extraordinary people find healthy, loving relationships.

Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?

What I’ve found most interesting since starting this company is how profound the desire for love is. We have a global reach, and no matter what age range, ethnicity, or religion you happen to be, no matter how successful and diverse your life may be, everyone is still craving a companion to share life with. And from this, I’ve learned that the mission of this company is truly needed in the world. This is my life’s passion and I am proud of the results. For anyone truly ready to meet the love of their life, we are confident that our services will help them find what is missing. The ROI is worth it all.

Wonderful! Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill?

  1. Look for transferable skills: Although we don’t expect everyone to have a background in matchmaking (let’s face it, not many people do!), we do keep an eye out for some overlap with regards to related and transferable skills.
  2. Face to face interviews: Talking on the phone is an important part of the process, however getting to know someone in person can give you a truer read on their level of self-awareness, authenticity, and character. Because we interface with clients on a day-to-day basis, it is important to find talent with a personable demeanor.
  3. Hiring Internally: We have a very strong intern program which breeds future matchmakers and sales executives. They believe in our mission, are versed in our culture, and have proved themselves to have the right work ethic, integrity, and skillsets to thrive.
  4. Include multiple staff in the interview process: We are proud of the talent on our team and like to introduce the dynamic assets of our human capital to candidates. We like to be transparent about the organization and expectations, and including multiple people brings various perspectives and information to the table with a less sterile process.
  5. Ask questions about their non-professional life: It is important that when hiring, you choose someone that is a cultural fit for your company. Inquiring about their passions, interests, life, and lifestyle lets you get to know them on a more personable level.

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?

  1. Get right to the point: When searching online for prospective candidates, directly state what it is you need from a candidate upfront; you have only a short window of time to get their attention, so be direct. The right person will bite if they feel something is missing in their current role.
  2. Make it known there is room for growth: Many individuals leave their jobs due to the lack of career development. We support all advancement opportunities and seek to help employees reach their professional goals.
  3. Stay relevant: Connecting once with an individual does not guarantee their interest. Stay in contact and nurture the new relationship –timing is everything.

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

Love conquers all. It is the unspoken language that every human being and animal can understand. Love and fear are the two most innate emotions — by inspiring a “love conquers all” movement, you are encouraging individuals to choose light over darkness, and make decisions using your heart and soul, not fear. A Harvard University study has shown that the most important ingredient to longevity is having healthy relationships. It is not the money or the power, but love. Whether it be platonic, romantic, or professional love — it is critically benefiting your health and happiness. Why not inspire a movement that improves your quality of life?

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

“You can’t let life happen to you; you have to make life happen.”

I have always believed you have to go after what you want in life — forget sitting on the sidelines. So many people do not take risks in life because they are afraid of failing, but failure is where you learn the most. I took the risk to create my own company and follow my passion, and did not fear the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get there. It is important to break through any self-imposed barriers and go after what you truly desire.

Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!

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