Hiring & Recruiting

Recruiting Rerouted: Use a GPS Mindset to Drive Your Recruiting Strategy

Recruiting Rerouted: Use a GPS Mindset to Drive Your Recruiting Strategy

Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Before we had GPS systems, if you took a wrong turn and got lost while traveling, you experienced that distressing feeling when you realized you made a mistake. You had to get out a paper map to figure out where you were and how to reach your destination. Today, GPS technology makes it easier to reach your destination and avoid wrong turns. A “GPS mindset” provides a navigational tool to guide your recruiting process.

The labor market is highly competitive and will be even more competitive in the future. According to a report from the Conference Board, “The retirement of baby boomers will create a shortage of skilled workers in mature economies worldwide.” Everyone is competing for a limited supply of talented people, and now is not the time for hiring mistakes.

The hardest part is knowing where to begin. As Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” A “GPS mindset” provides the framework for good direction.

With a GPS device, you begin by entering a specific destination, then a specific starting point. Then you can choose options based on your needs—fastest route, shortest route, fewest tolls, no highways, and so forth. It’s your responsibility to be specific and thorough with the information you give the GPS; if you enter vague start or end points, or don’t adjust the options to reflect your needs, you can’t get the best results from the GPS—and may run into problems.

In the case of GPS miscalculations, the consequences are usually minimal. But the stakes are much higher with hiring, and there is more at stake. CareerBuilder surveys illuminate some effects of recruiting miscalculations:

  • 66% of employers have been affected by a bad hire.
  • 48% of CEOs report that they lost money because of inefficient recruiting practices.
  • 60% of CEOs report the inability to find qualified candidates is preventing the company from reaching their full potential.

A lack of clarity about your destination results in recruiting miscalculations. Let’s get out our GPS system and get to work.

Step One: Enter a very specific destination. This is your job description. Many businesses either don’t write job descriptions or have job descriptions so outdated they’re irrelevant. The job description is your roadmap of the outcomes and the skills, attitudes and behaviors required to achieve those outcomes. A GPS mindset helps you clearly see the skills, attitudes and behaviors required to create your destination list.

Step Two: Identify your starting point. Take a good look at your business and identify the skills, attitudes, and behaviors of hour high performers and low performers. If you do not know what differentiates a high performer from a low performer, how will you know if you are recruiting a high performer?

Step Three: Start your trip. Occasionally, things don’t go as planned and something unexpected occurs. On the road, you might have traffic delays, road construction, or any number of other obstacles—but using the GPS, you can find an alternate route to bypass the problems. In recruiting, you also need to plan for miscalculations and obstacles. Having a plan in place to adapt to the unexpected will keep your recruiting on track.

The GPS mindset provides insights that direct your actions to arrive at the results your business needs. Enjoy your journey.


Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the founder and lead consultant of YOLO Insights. She is on a mission to ensure that no business is held back because they cannot hire the right people. She is a hiring mentor, recruiting strategist, and HR expert and has held a variety of HR leadership roles in corporate and non-profit organizations and is a co-author of “Rethinking Human Resources.” She is a sought-after speaker on a variety of topics related to interviewing and hiring, communication, and teambuilding. Ms. Barnes-Hogg also writes for industry journals and publications on HR topics. She leverages her skills to enable her clients to hire amazing people and grow their business. Ms. Barnes-Hogg’s down-to-earth and fun approach to a frustrating and time-consuming process has allowed her clients to hire the right people. Her programs bring her clients more confidence, less stress, and a bigger profit! Ms. Barnes-Hogg holds an MA in Human Resources Management from The George Washington University and a BS in Business Management from The National-Louis University. She holds the SPHR certification from HRCI and the SHRM-SCP certification from SHRM.


Ms. Barnes-Hogg presents Proactive Recruiting: How to Build and Grow Your Private Pool of Exceptional Candidates on December 17. Register now for this insightful event that will teach you practical tips on how to ensure that you don’t come up short on your next talent acquisition assignment— and how to feed a pool of potential candidates you can depend on.