Great Leaders Know How and Who to Hire
Great leaders know how to build their teams with winners. This means you need to know how to assess people so hiring should match your business needs, your culture and mesh well with the rest of the team members.
If you want your business to profit, you need to hire people who you can retain for years and years. Of course there are never any guarantees, but hiring people that are a good fit, not just those who have the right skills, goes a long way toward facilitating retention and high performance.
How do you ascertain whether you are hiring the right people or not?
You need to start with identifying the type of people your company needs. That starts with looking at who has been successful in your organization already, and determining what qualities they have in common. For example, are your most successful hires ones who are self-starters or easily adapt to change? Are they individuals who accept direction and criticism and move to put that information into action (as opposed to ones who defend or argue their ideas and position)? Take a look at who in your company are your high performers and high potentials and figure out what makes them so.
In addition, ask your leadership team the same question. What qualities do they see in those that are most successful, high performers, easy to work with and they consider the stars in your company? You are looking for common themes and adjectives that you can use to determine the all-important soft skills component of successful hires.
While each organization is different, over my years as a recruiter and coach I have found that these four characteristics are critical when hiring for success and retention.
- Core values. Core values have to match with those of the basic culture of the company. Core values are what drive a person in their life and the power behind every decision. They include an individual’s beliefs and are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Your company may not have a spoken core value for the business itself, such as Tom’s Shoe Company which has a core value of helping others less fortunate by giving away a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold, but you have basic principles by which you conduct business, what you consider right and wrong behaviors and actions. Making sure the individual’s values match with the organization’s values is key.
- Personality. What type of personality does the person you hire have? You need to match as closely as possible the personality type with the demands of the job for optimal success. Do you need someone hyper focused and demanding (as might be for a position in quality assurance)? Or do you need someone easy going who has the ability to easily connect with others (as might be for a customer service position)? A word of caution, though, someone can be very successful and not have the personality you think best fits the role. Personality is one factor to consider in hiring, but certainly not the only or main factor.
- Attitude. Is the person accountable and do they accept responsibility for their mistakes? How do they handle not knowing something? When they failed at something (and we all have) how did they react? Are they more of a loner or a team player? How do they manage stress? There are many questions you will want to ask to determine attitude. Who they are is a much better indication of what they are capable of than what they have done in the past. Find out who they are!
- Authenticity. The more authentic someone is, the easier it is for you to determine what they are capable of and how they will function. Hiring successfully doesn’t mean they need everything the job description says, but knowing what they can and cannot do, how they have functioned in the past, and what struggles they have faces and how they handled them will give you an indication of what you can expect once they are on board in your company. Getting to know people is a bit challenging. Applicants want to put their best foot forward and have you see what they want you to see and know about them. Keep asking questions to learn what you can, and how authentic they will be.
Great leaders aren’t just people who have high business acumen or demonstrated success. They are individuals who know who to hire and how to determine fit with their organization and/or department. It’s the ability to ascertain suitability for the position, the department and the organization as a whole. The chemistry factor cannot be overlooked as a key indicator of success.
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