Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: 4 Ways to Identify Top Talent

November 2, 2015 in HR Best Practices



Every food & beverage employer wants to hire top professionals – people who make a real impact and consistently perform well above expectations. And with good reason. According to research cited in Harvard Business Review, the best performers are roughly four times as productive as average performers. Four times!

In today’s employment market, however, exceptional food & beverage professionals are in short supply. Though you may receive a large number of applications when you recruit, finding the high performers in the pool can be like manually separating wheat from so much chaff.

As a leading national food & beverage executive recruiter, it’s our job to make recruiting simpler, quicker and more successful. So today, we’re sharing 4 tips to help you hire top talent:

  • Hone interviewers’ skills. Teach interviewers how to develop behavioral questions that evaluate actual job performance (and not merely a candidate’s story-telling abilities). To lessen the bias caused by first impressions, require interviewers to cite specific candidate statements that back up their evaluations and/or conclusions. Teach them how to support their ratings with examples, as opposed to opinions, impressions or hunches.
  • Hire for intelligence over experience. True, candidates for mid- to senior-level positions within your organization must have certain skills and abilities to do the job. We’re not implying that experience doesn’t matter! But all other things being equal, a more intelligent candidate may be able to learn more quickly (and ultimately achieve at higher levels) than someone of average intelligence who has more years on the job.
  • Only allow high performers to conduct interviews. Not surprisingly, A-level talent is more adept than average performers at identifying excellence in others. What’s more, B- and C-players may feel threatened by an extremely promising candidate and shy away from considering someone who seems likely to “raise the bar” (and potentially make them look bad in the process).
  • Conduct thorough reference checks. Unfortunately, some professionals are great at playing the job search game. They’ve perfected their “interview facade,” so that they look great on paper and during the interview. But in many cases, the traits of a top employee are quite different from the traits of someone who merely interviews well. So even if you’ve found a candidate who has nailed the interview round, don’t become too attached until you’ve thoroughly vetted him. If the reference check raises serious doubts about the candidate’s abilities or performance, be willing to walk away.

The easiest way to hire top food & beverage professionals?

Give Kinsa a call. Our team of experts uses a proven search and assessment process to ensure you only hire the best of the best – quickly and cost-effectively.