common language brings uncommon results


Building a common language into any talent acquisition framework will improve the speed, quality and efficiency of your hiring.

Creating and clarifying shared definitions for specific terms can bring huge rewards in a team environment. The armed forces and other large organisations, for example, regularly use acronyms and in-house terms to avoid potentially dangerous misunderstandings. The risks are obviously lower in recruitment, but the impact of such misunderstandings during the hiring process can cause problems at every stage.

At best, such misunderstandings lead to wasted time. As a basic example, the phrase ‘strong excel’ means different things to different people, so early clarification between all stakeholders is important for any functional skill requirements.

For more nuanced aspects of an applicant’s suitability (such as someone’s traits, or motivators), however, the level of divergence between understanding of terms can create more significant problems throughout the process. What do we mean by ambitious? Or proactive? Or self-motivated? Imagine when the recruiter, applicant and various interviewers all have different opinions on what these terms mean. We quickly lose sight of the brief and the result is a muddled process.

A great, quick test is to ask 10 people across the company to describe the company culture (no conferring) and how they test for fit at interview.

At Stone, we have worked hard to develop a shared language that removes misunderstanding and consequent inefficiency from our internal process. It is also something we bring to our clients’ Talent Funnels, through training, documentation and coaching. That way, everyone can use terms and feel confident that the meaning is clear to all parties from the start.

If you would like to explore how Stone can help your organisation, contact us today!