How Companies Identify Talent with Ed Krow & Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series, Real Human Resources

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Ed Krow HR Strategy

Using our influence for good can reshape our organization and the communities in which we live. Often, we don’t know the influence we have on others, but it is nonetheless important that we work to become good influencers.

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 Ed Krow.

Ed Krow has helped over 250 clients, including Fortune 500 companies, achieve talent and culture transformations. He is a member of the National Speakers Association, the Forbes Coaches Council, and a regular contributor to Forbes. He is the author of “Strategic HR: Driving Bottom Line Results Through Your People”. When he’s not on stage or helping clients, Ed teaches at Millersville University.

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

My first professional position was as an Operations Supervisor at UPS. Since my degree was in Industrial Safety, I thought that’s the way my path would lead. One day the HR Director approached me with an offer to join his team as a field HR Rep. He committed to training me, so I accepted and never looked back! 30 years, later, here I am still working within the HR field!

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?

The most exciting thing happened when I decided to leave corporate America and enter consulting. While I enjoyed my time at UPS, I wanted to have a greater impact and always considered running my own business. So, I made the leap, left corporate America and have been serving clients for 20 years!

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

  1. Hire for the skills you need tomorrow. If we want our companies to be successful in the future we must identify the skills we will need in 3, 5, 10 years. Then we hire that talent today and develop it. Hiring for gaps today merely perpetuates our skill gap and won’t move our business forward.
  2. Hire for culture fit 1st. Skills can be taught. I’ve seen bad hires ruin teams and even entire businesses. Once we’ve identified the culture we want to build, we need to hire people that will bring that culture to life.
  3. Determine your key performance indicators and use those to screen talent. Candidates must be able to demonstrate they can move the needle for us. One-hit wonders and those simply looking to fill a gap will not drive business results. Screening must revolve around how they can help you in this specific area.
  4. Give team members a say. Too often we allow HR to handle the entire hiring process and the new person shows up to meet the team once they have been hired. Allowing the team some say in those being hired will minimize the transition the team will go through as it assimilates the member.
  5. Update job descriptions. Instead of “to-do” lists, update your JDs to reflect the outcomes expected of candidates. Not only will this screen out those who are unqualified, but it will screen out those not up for the challenge of the position.

All great advice. 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. Look at the organizations with whom you compete for talent. Where are they recruiting, what events are they attending? What message are they putting out in the marketplace? Don’t be afraid to copy what is working for others!
  2. Understand what your target candidates want and offer it! Don’t get hung up on “our benefits are great” or “we have the best pay”. Do your research on what people want and work that into your total rewards program, with a specific focus on your culture.
  3. Today’s employees crave a work experience. This circles back to culture, but goes one step further. Can they be their full selves in your workplace? Does your environment help them to be the best version of themselves?

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

We are all called to be leaders, regardless of title. I’d love to see more companies invest in leadership skills training for their people, and not just those identified as “high potentials”.

We are blessed to have some of the biggest names in Business, VC, 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?

Elon Musk. Not only is he a visionary, he knows how to bring the vision to life and incent and empower those around him to follow him on the quest. Lunch with him would be inspiring and I’d love to learn how he has harnessed both his creative side and business mind equally.

Big fan of that choice. Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us today!


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