Are You Hiring the Right People?
As a consultant and executive with my formative background and education in human resources management, I typically have a semi facetious response to executives and business owners who ask me what differentiates great companies from “good companies”. My response is “It is the people!” The organizations with the best people aligned in the best way always win. This is especially important to those of you running small businesses, where every hire is a critical hire!
So how do we define the best people? I have a couple of recommendations for my clients.
Identify Key Attribute for Success and Hire “Right”
Incorporate Responsibilities Into All Job Descriptions
Provide Appropriate Training
“Retrofit” Skills and Attributes of Existing Staff
Coach and Mentor
So what do I mean by all that “HR stuff”? Very simple, I want everybody on my team to share some common attributes:
Commitment To The Team
Ability To See The Big Picture
Ability To Learn And Share New Skills
Listening For Key Information
If they can’t or won’t do these things or lack these attributes, I don’t want them on my team – period.
There are reasons why I have focused on attributes rather than skills. You have probably heard some of these before but they bear repetition.
You can teach smart people to do almost anything!
It is hard to teach people to be smart!
People who are committed to your mission will reflect it!
Changing people’s core values is very hard!
I believe that companies have the right to define their cultures as long as they do so within the context of the law and are respectful to all employees.
While businesses and most organizations are not democracies, I do suggest to all business owners and leaders that, beyond the attributes that I mention above, they need to ensure that everyone in a leadership role either possesses or is trained in some key skill sets:
Establishing Clear Performance Expectations
Giving Periodic, Constructive, and Clear Feedback
Taking Appropriate Corrective Action
You will notice that n o ne of these skill sets address technical skills like financial analysis, marketing, etc. That is not an oversight. Technical skills are task competencies and can be taught. You can have excellent technical skills and be an awful manager. If you don’t believe me, ask staff if they would rather work for a manager who consistently performs my list or a manager who is technically “gifted.”
I believe that employees have an absolute entitlement to four and only four things-
Respect For Individuals
Meaningful, Balanced Feedback.
Equitable , Clear Reward System
People have said to me “What about empowerment and development, and mentoring?” I think those things are awesome and contribute to growing organizations and reinforcing commitment, but the first four are absolute entitlements that form the basis for the others.
I also encourage clients to “re-recruit” existing staff using the following model:
Train Current Staff Must On New Competencies And Expectations
Compliance Works Short Term But Commitment Is Essential For The Long Term
Retrain, Re-Assign, or……..
Remember WIIFM (What’s in it for me!)
In the long term, you simply cannot tolerate performance that won’t or can’t meet your expectations. Asking or forcing people to leave your organization is hard on them, on you and on their colleagues, but leaving them in a role where they are not thriving or happy is worse. That’s why I suggest we hire right up front. If you do, you reap the r ewards.
In the words of Jack Welch-
“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.”
Now you have to admit, that it is a pretty exciting thought!
Make it A Champion Day!