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Reinvent Your Talent Strategy for BIG Results

If you have been to one of CEO Coaching International’s executive coaching events, you’ve probably met Velveth Schmitz, Vice President of Growth Strategy at HireBetter, a retained talent search agency and strategic partner of the firm that was recently recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Recruiting Firms.

Velveth is a people person, a “connector,” as she likes to call it, with a storied career path. She has worked in management consulting at a financial firm, was co-founder of a personalized stationery company, held a C-suite role, and even served as Mayor of Rolling Hills Estates, California, before she found her home at HireBetter.

Velveth’s self-described “circuitous route” has granted her the real-world experience and understanding of humans that have made her a rockstar executive, deeply in-tune with the nuances of today’s ever-shifting talent market.

By now, we’ve all heard repeatedly that the Great Resignation has been a roadblock for leaders and hiring managers. And, by all accounts, that trend will continue. According to a 2022 survey, 44% of employees consider themselves job seekers.

And although that statistic may seem bleak, those looking to add top-notch members to their team are not helpless. Velveth says there are practical things CEOs can do to evolve the way they think about finding key players.

Today, she shares 3 tips for leaders looking to reinvent their talent strategy in an ever-evolving labor market and a bonus tip for hiring managers and female candidates looking to make a BIG career move.

Velveth Schmitz – Vice President of Growth and Strategy at HireBetter

1. Hire For Growth

One of the first things you’ll hear when working with HireBetter and Velveth is the concept of “growth matching.”

At CEO Coaching International, we often remind our clients that they have a much higher probability of getting where they want to go if they know where they want to end up. The same is true in talent acquisition for finding the people best suited to drive the company bus.

“When we work with a business, we try to understand their strategic plan and get alignment on where they want to go vis a vis dollars, profit growth, etc.,” Velveth explains. BIG “growth happens for companies with the right people in the right seats doing their jobs, doing them effectively and, a lot of the times, passionately.”

Once Velveth and the HireBetter team know what their clients are looking for, they “build a roadmap…and look at what the company might look like when candidates arrive. When we start plugging in that potential talent, it helps us understand what an organization values and where they’re going, Velveth says.

Understanding her clients’ end desires ultimately helps “attract the candidates that match and repel those that don’t,” Velveth explains. But, even if entrepreneurs are still determining their ultimate destination, Velveth says her team “thrives in the discomfort of ‘we don’t know what’s next,'” and can help leaders gain the clarity they need before hiring.

2. Recalibrate Your Perceptions of Candidate Motivations

Thanks to “The Great Resignation,” you’ve probably heard that candidates want something different in this post-pandemic world. Velveth encourages leaders and hiring managers to keep the many different kinds of candidate motivations top-of-mind, especially since the past two years have “created a space for individuals to reassess what’s important.”

“While before you could throw money at the issue, today it’s no longer enough. There are higher purposes,” Velveth explains. “How do I connect with my team? Am I valued? Is the individual invested in my training, in my growth? And if so, is that the kind of organization that I want to be a part of?”

Many factors come into play regarding candidate motivations – some of them generational and others unique to the individual.

Regardless, Velveth encourages leaders not to fall into thinking their company is the end-all-be-all for all candidates. They must understand that each potential employee is evaluating and pursuing opportunities based on which company best aligns with their values.

“I think sometimes there’s the misconception of where the true balance of power is” in hiring, Velveth says. “The reality is that today, it’s a shared balance between the employer and employee.”

3. Level Set with Your Team on Hiring for Behaviors

Velveth is proof that the best candidates for companies are A-players because of who they are as their authentic selves, in their daily behaviors, and the passion they bring to the table for the work that they do.

To suss this out during interviews, Velveth says it is imperative that CEOs, their executive teams, and anyone who might be interviewing a potential candidate fool-proof their vetting processes to get to the root of what makes a candidate tick.

For example, “if you are a company that needs grit because you’re starting something, it’s changing, and you’re building the plane while you’re flying it, that is an expression of the talent you need,” Velveth explains. “You have to have a way to gauge that, and you do that through behavioral interviewing.”

One way to understand behaviors, Velveth says, is to present candidates with scenarios that will show how they would act under different circumstances.

“If someone comes in and you ask them what happened the last time they were lost and didn’t have a map, and the answer is, ‘I always have a map. I would never be lost,’ then that individual is uncomfortable in circumstances where they don’t know what comes next,” Velveth says. “If your organization is a start-up with a dynamic, entrepreneurial atmosphere, that candidate is not a match.”

Velveth says hiring managers must align on how they’re interviewing and debriefing to get an authentic glimpse into how a candidate operates on the day-to-day – not just a recap of a resume.

Additionally, Velveth says hiring managers must be honest with themselves about their organization’s culture to facilitate candid conversations with potential employees to ensure they match those who will thrive in that company’s day-to-day environment.

Bonus Tip: Understand What Women Bring to the Table

Velveth’s final tip is for hiring managers and all the women candidates looking to find their next BIG career move.

If Velveth could give women candidates one tip, it would be this –“be realistic about your talent. You are underselling yourself. Be realistic about what you can do. Because you probably are worth much more than you give yourself credit for.”

Velveth says women often undercut themselves if they don’t fulfill 100% of the qualifications on a job description. In comparison, their male counterparts will apply if they qualify for only 40% of the qualifications.

That’s a “daunting statistic” women candidates should keep in mind to ensure they aren’t undercutting themselves, and one good hiring managers should consider too.

“The way we write job descriptions needs to change,” Velveth says. “If we want to be more inclusive as a workforce, why not word things differently? Why not take out a specific number of years of experience? Why not say ‘desired experience.’ Leave it in a way where you’re creating an expansive conversation, not a ‘no.'”

The opportunity to make more room for women candidates to bring their authentic selves to hiring conversations could give world-class companies the edge they are looking for in a challenging talent market.

“The type of leader we need today is innate to women, ” Velveth says. “We can do amazing things as leaders, bosses, founders, and visionaries…I’m watching some badass women do incredible things, and we can all do it. There’s just so much opportunity, and there’s a lot we need to do to support one another, and we need to create that ability to reach down and reach up and help each other.”

To get in touch with HireBetter, click here.

“Mobilize Your Team in 2022: The 4-Step Guide,” is a captain’s guide for CEOs to lead the company ship from charting the course to mobilizing your crew and making tough calls through choppy seas to reach the shores of extraordinary success.

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About CEO Coaching International

CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 67.8% during their time as a client, nearly four times the U.S. average and a revenue CAGR of 25.5%, more than twice the U.S. average.

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