Looking back on my experience, the biggest leadership challenge I faced was not being able to replace personnel. This situation taught me a powerful lesson: using the right people in the right roles will accelerate results.
My command staff should not have been busy doing $5 an hour work, where their skill sets were underutilized. But they were. And this did not change until I was able to communicate to the crew our mission, and then use the right people for the right duties and responsibilities.
You have the opportunity to attract and select the best talent for your key roles. Take advantage of this opportunity. Think about what you can accomplish if you dedicate time and effort to your hiring process.
A clear vision and the ideal team represent a strong mix, ensuring sustained growth and elevated performances.
Right People, Right Roles
Matching individual talent with a role is not an easy task. Top performers in one environment can be mediocre in another. Conversely, mediocre performers may thrive in a new environment.
Intangibles, such as attitude, culture and behaviors, however, ultimately determine a candidate’s success.
Similarities in intangibles between your team and your company will create a higher engagement level, leading to greater productivity and better retention.
Alignment is an essential step for building the ideal team. It’s critical that your expectations are
in sync with your goals. Internal alignment is crucial. The greatest impact to business results, however, comes from alignment to the customer.
When your customers’ expectations are fulfilled, they are more likely to recommend your organization and to purchase products and services in the future.
Selecting the Right People
Building an exceptional team starts with good people decisions. Whether it’s an internal promotion or a new hire, choosing people for key positions is something I rarely delegated. The minute you let an ineffectual manager in the door, they will hire individuals who are even less effective. And before you know it, your standards and expectations have taken a major hit.
Would you trust this person with your best customer? If the answer is no, then you need to dig deeper. You should be able to trust your best customer with anyone you hire.
Don’t trust your gut. Seek contrary information in the interview process. Every candidate should be considered as objectively as possible. Most hiring decisions are made on the first impression. Our “gut feeling” takes about two minutes to determine a candidate’s viability.
How many times has that burned you? I always look for contrary information when I feel myself reaching a conclusion about a candidate.
Reference checks are often dismissed, but they may provide great insight as to the previous performance of your candidates.
Study your best and worst performers. Identify the five qualities of your top and bottom performers. Use these qualities as the cornerstone in your hiring process. Build your interview around these skills and abilities, and ask for practical experience when you can.
People who are successful in one company won’t always be successful in yours. Experience and skills are important. But it’s more important to determine how a candidate fits into your culture, as this can make or break employee performance.
Poor recruitment decisions are costly in lost productivity and sales. Finding new candidates costs time and money. Find the people who will be the benchmarks of success for your organization now and into the future.