An organization’s people are the true heart of what matters. From whom they are to what they know and are capable of, employees can – and will – make or break an organization’s success. Although they are among the most valuable assets, our human resources can also be the most challenging, time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive endeavors that we, as leaders, invest in.
So, how do you make sure your team has the right people in the right roles for optimal performance? It all starts with how (and therefore, who) you hire, and candor throughout the process will yield the greatest return.
Are you direct about the organization’s goals and expectations, mission and values?
Are you focused on who they are as much as you’re focused on what they can do?
Are you selecting people for an immediate role only, or are you considering their potential within the whole team?
Do you use any communications or leadership assessments as part of your hiring process?
Do you temporarily hire candidates to come aboard for a day or week for an on-the-job trial period?
Do you speak with the best references you can, or simply connect with those the candidate suggests?
I observe hiring managers often either rush decisions to quickly fill a skills-based open position, or conversely, stall because they are overwhelmed with the enormity of the decision. Neither is particularly effective and both scenarios can be countered with candor. Mis-hires most often occur because we aren’t digging down to the core of matching the person (not just the employee) to the organization (not just the job.)
Within our teams, are we providing the kind of leadership it takes to encourage potential and growth? Promoting the right person to the next level is the time to move swiftly and deliberately. And, speaking of swiftness, there is no better time to move quickly than when someone simply is not the right fit for your organization and is no longer coach-able. We can’t stall our growth by allowing our people to hold us back.
So, let’s be candid. Where do you want your organization to go and who is it going to take to get there? Answer this first. Then, expect your people – from candidates to your existing team – to be honest about who they are, what they want, and how we’re going to make it happen.
Building your team, deliberately, honestly and person-by-person, to match your organization’s mission and values provides the most solid foundation on which to grow.