3 Reasons to Value the Power of Alignment When Hiring

Written by Mitch Gray, Contributor, July 2021

There’s a moment that takes place within every hiring manager’s career: the moment they realize there are more positions to fill than they have employees. The panic. The stress. The expectation of doing their job well. Managing deadlines, and performance, and tasks. 

You may be staring at a blank schedule or lengthy project list or answering questions from those above you and find yourself wondering ‘how will I ever fill these positions?!’ So you take action in a similar fashion as many. You dig through applications, make posts on social media, call recruiting agencies, sift through resources and services trying to find warm bodies to fill the vacancies that have been created. 

If you have ever been in a position of hiring, you have felt this moment of stress and frustration. During these moments, what often takes place is what I like to call ‘settling.’ You settle for someone that doesn’t quite fit your culture because the project list continues to grow. You settle for someone because they have experience in the job at hand. You settle for someone because just knowing you will have a desk filled is better than the stress you have felt during this experience. But settling is never the way toward success and sustainability. Settling will have you arriving at the exact same place, walking through the same experience once again. When you settle in your hiring practices you guarantee your unhappiness, high stress, and constant turnover. 

Hiring must be about more than simply filling positions. It must be about alignment, culture, depth of character, and aptitude. Successful hiring is based more on the ability of a person to align with your organization than the experience or skill they bring with them. While describing how to hire the right person, Bryant (2020) explores ways to take candidates through a creative interview process that reveals how they may fit with your organization. Getting creative in recruiting and interviewing can lead you to better alignment than traditional interviewing practices. 

Hiring based on alignment forces you to look deeper than what a resume or common interviewing practices reveal. You can always teach skills. You can develop talent. You cannot teach or develop alignment. You cannot buy positivity or a high aptitude for learning and curiosity. 

Organizations understand this when it comes to marketing. If you were to hire a marketing agency today to expand your reach or introduce a new product, they would begin laying a foundation through a simple exercise: identify and create your ideal customer. Identifying who your message or product is going to reach, why it brings them value, how they will engage this message or product, and why they need your product is the starting point to ensuring success. This practice of identifying your ideal customer works because it provides clarity and boundaries as to the direction of your message or product. You now know, without any doubt, who, what, why, and how. This is the power of alignment. 

The challenge with recruiting and hiring is very few leaders are taught the art of hiring. They are given the expectation to hire and keep positions filled but rarely taught who to hire, why to hire them, and how to ensure a new hire aligns with the purpose, vision and mission of the organization. To learn the art of hiring, we can begin with the strategy of marketing companies. 

When defining your ideal customer, you are going to identify where they shop, what books they read, where they eat, what cars they drive, who they hang out with on Friday nights, what movies they watch, the type of family dynamic they are surrounded with, and what career they may have. To introduce a successful message or product to the world, you have to know who you are creating this product for. 

These are the very steps you can begin working through to find the power of alignment within your hiring strategy. The more clarity you create on why you are hiring, who you are hiring, and what value they bring to your team, the more success and sustainability you will create within your organization. Hiring based on alignment brings about more eager employees who are ready to learn, ready to lead, and ready to build success. Alignment feeds the soul for both the employee and the organization. 

Successful hiring is more than reading about someone’s work experience, educational history and skills. It’s more than simply bringing a ‘qualified’ warm body in to fill a seat and check tasks off the list. Successful hiring is about finding great people who fill a role on your team that cannot be filled by anyone else. Successful hiring is about finding people who step into your culture and use their presence and energy to uplift those around them. Successful hiring has little to do with experience or skills or education or knowledge and everything to do with presence, energy, attitude, and character. 

The most proactive path to hiring people that will provide sustainable success is to hire based on alignment. Aligning the position with the person and the person with the position is where the magic of productivity takes place. 

Let’s explore three reasons you should value hiring based on alignment and how you can create clarity on your hiring strategy. 


1. Alignment gives you clarity on who to hire

Far too many leaders hire based on luck. Cappelli (2019) called today’s hiring processes the ‘Wild West’. Many leaders have never taken the time to clarify the type of employee they desire to work with. The lack of clarity regarding who you want to hire causes a major disruption in how sustainable success will be created. Workflow, culture, and productivity are interrupted because of misalignment. 

You must be clear on who you want partnering with you in building success. Your focus must be on intangibles rather than tangibles. Your goal is to learn the art of hiring based on the presence of a person rather than the skills of a person. 

As in our example of creating your target customer for marketing, use the same approach for hiring. Begin with a few questions such as:

  • What books does your ideal candidate read?
  • What type of social activities are they involved in?
  • Do they take part in creating change in their environment?
  • What do they do to remain physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy?

Responding to these types of questions will gear your mind toward hiring based on alignment rather than simply filling positions. Culture is the foundation of any organization. Alignment strengthens that foundation. 


You may also be interested in reading:

3 Steps to Boosting Employee Engagement on Mondays


2. Alignment helps you describe the position

When describing the work a person will take part in, you must see the picture as more than a simple job description. Aligning the right person in the right position to do the work they are most adept at is critical to building a culture of empowerment. When you hire based on personality, work ethic, energy, dependability, and aptitude, it changes your approach in describing who you want to fill a role. 

You can teach skills. You can buy education or training or certifications. You can teach an open-minded employee how to do what is needed. You cannot teach work ethic, personality, energy, or attitude. Settling for hiring someone who does not show strength in the intangible areas is setting yourself up for great frustration. Measuring the human interest of a candidate is much more valuable than skills or education. When you create clarity for the work that needs done and who you need to do this work, you open the door to an opportunity that was never before possible. 


3. Alignment helps you define why you need this person

This is possibly the most critical step in regard to hiring based on alignment. In my early years of leading organizations, I learned a principle that stuck with me over the past 25 years: it is better to operate with less people who are the right people than with more people who are the wrong people. 

If you don’t have the right people in the right positions doing work they find valuable, your organization will continue to be a turnstile of employees coming and going (Barrick, Mount, & Li, 2013). Defining why you need to hire someone will eradicate many of the frustrations that come with hiring. When you have a clear definition of why, you will often talk yourself out of hiring certain people. Understanding why doesn’t allow you to settle for simply filling a position. 

Hiring is more than about positions. It is about energy and culture and fit and personality. When defining why you need to hire someone you must identify what energy you need on your team and how this person will fit that need. You must identify what personalities you have on the team and what personalities might be missing. You must identify your culture clearly and the elements that build that culture. Once you have identified these elements you can then align people in the positions that will not only empower them to thrive but will also take performance to a whole new level. 

It’s easy to hire based on education, experience, and skills. But the real success comes when you hire based on alignment. Alignment in work, in energy, and in purpose. 


Written by Mitch Gray, Guest Contributor
About the Author
About the Author

Mitch Gray has combined over two decades of experience as a former pastor, life coach, entrepreneur, community developer, and creator to develop a brand of leadership that is at its deepest level- human. As a Leadership and Personal Development Coach, Mitch takes his heart for inspiring others and his passion for empowering leaders to create the space needed for considering a new way of leading. 


*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Humans of HR.


One-Time
Monthly
Yearly



Helps us keep providing open access content with a one-time contribution.



Helps us keep providing open access content with a monthly contribution.



Helps us keep providing open access content with a yearly contribution.

Choose an amount

€25.00
€50.00
€100.00
€5.00
€10.00
€20.00
€50.00
€100.00
€250.00

Or enter a custom amount


The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 90 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

ContributeContributeContribute
  • *Private company representatives: please contact onlinemagazine@thehumansofhr.com for more information on using & sharing our content.



References

Barrick, M. R., Mount, M. K., & Li, N. (2013). The theory of purposeful work behavior: The role of personality, higher-order goals, and job characteristics. Academy of Management Review, 38(1), 132–153. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2010.0479

Bryant, A. (2020). How to hire the right person. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/how-to-hire-the-right-person

Cappelli, P. (2019, May 1). Your approach to hiring is all wrong. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/05/your-approach-to-hiring-is-all-wrongCappelli, 2019 https://hbr.org/2019/05/your-approach-to-h

Leave a Reply