Build an Effective Team by Being a Talent Hound
If you want to build an effective team, it starts with having the best people. Creating a talent advantage begins with smart hiring. That said, it never ceases to amaze me at the number of businesses that put little energy and time into mining for talent. Smart leaders do more than just hire smart people — they have a smart hiring process and/or methodology.
Put simply; talent matters. The problem is that very few people actually possess the talent to identify talent. Identifying and recruiting talent requires much more than screening a resume and having a set of standard interviewing questions to guide you. There are issues of values, vision, culture, context, etc. that need to be creatively and intuitively addressed in the hiring process.
In today’s post, we’ll share our philosophy on the best way to insure that you hire tier-one talent. We believe one of the best uses of time is to make sure that we make the best hiring decisions possible.
We use the following hiring process attributes when advising our clients:
Know what you are looking for … If you can’t specifically define what you are looking for, you have little chance of finding it! This definition is both in terms of the job description and the profile of the individual most likely to be successful in that role. If you can’t define what you’re looking for, you should not be looking.
Know what you are selling … You are looking for the best talent, correct? This means you are in competition, so it is essential that you are able to put your best foot forward and be able to market your strengths. Examples of what good talent will be looking for are continuous learning, the ability to grow and develop their strengths, etc. Be able to give your examples of these in a soft, non-selling manner.
Take your time … There is wisdom in the expression “hire slow and fire fast.” Don’t panic and end up making a regrettable hire out of perceived desperation. Give yourself plenty of runway. You’ll be much better off taking your time and making a good hire rather than using the ready, fire, aim methodology, and end-up terming the new hire before they eclipse their probationary period.
Always be in talent search mode: This applies even if you are not yet ready to hire. Never let your organization be put behind the talent 8-ball, as great talent is rarely available on a moment’s notice. Some of the best hires we’ve made over the years were executives that we spent months, and in some cases, years developing relationships with.
Culture-based hiring … Culture matters … a lot more than you may believe. You can either spend time finding employees who share your organization’s values or deal with the brain damage of managing conflicts that arise due to opposing values. Ignore culture in the hiring process and all other hiring initiatives will be diminished, if not lost altogether.
Hire leaders … When our clients' companies complain about a lack of leadership, or how difficult it is to identify leaders, our question is simply this: Why didn’t you hire a leader to begin with? It is simple … the development of an existing leader is faster, easier, and more effective than creating a new leader.
Pay for talent … Talent has an uncanny way of attracting more talent. Know that you are paying more, but if it is the right hire, you will be paid in many ways you are not even considering… To put it bluntly, you get what you pay for… real talent produces real results and is worth the investment. You cannot afford not to invest in talent.
Constantly upgrade … You can hire the best talent in the world, but remember that “best” is a subjective evaluation largely measured within the context of a snapshot in time. Obsolescence can take root in anyone if growth and development are not focus points. Development needs to occur at every echelon of the workforce — the top, middle, and bottom performance tiers.
Hiring is a blend of art and science. The reality is that those organizations that identify, recruit, deploy, develop, and retain the best talent will be the companies who thrive in the market place.
Never be done with your hiring and building your team, life is a continuous learning experience for you and the team. Team building and talent development take work and a consistent process, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the impact it will make on your business and service.