Hiring Great People Is An Art

The first ingredient in my leadership secret sauce blog series is about the critical importance of employee selection and hiring. The people you hire impact your entire organization and team. Ultimately you can pin the success or failure of your organization and your leadership on the team you select and develop. In last week’s BLOG, we reviewed the five key leadership competencies to enable you to lead through COVID 19 and beyond. 

Employee Selection and Hiring

Here are six key steps to follow to ensure you are hiring well:

  1. Preparation: Examine your current team…what talent is needed to have a high performing team? Someone that’s great with detail and analytical abilities? Someone that is steady and consistent? Someone that drives processes and results? Or someone that exudes energy and creativity? What key accountabilities are required to do this open position? The last thing you want is to seek a clone of yourself. The more diverse your team is in abilities, thought, behaviors, motivators, the better results your team will produce!

  1. Screening resumes: When screening candidates for the role, it’s important to make sure they have the skills, knowledge and abilities to do the work itself. It’s also important to screen them for “fit” for the role and “fit” for the culture of your team and the organization’s culture. Ask “How do you like to be managed?” or “Tell me about your best team experience…your worst team experience”.

  1. Interview process: Brad Smart created the Top Grading Process, that helps you design the right behavioral interviewing questions for the role you are interviewing for. By giving the candidates for your open position scenarios to respond to, you can observe how they think through things, how they problem solve for issues they will be facing on the job. Ask them to share their own strengths and their own limitations. Consider interviewing your final candidate over dinner or lunch. Being in a different, more social setting enables you to get to know them better.

  1. Team involvement: You may also want to include other people you trust on your team to interview your finalists for the role. Choose wisely and prepare each person for their role in the interviewing process. Candidates, internal or external to the company grow weary of answering the same questions with different people! Remember you are also selling them on the role and the career experience you have to offer.

  1. Job benchmarking: Once the top two candidates are decided upon, have them complete an online assessment that compares their behaviors, motivators and competencies against a benchmark assessment tailored for the role, compliments of subject matter experts actually doing the job. The benchmark assessment is a wonderful predictor of success for those you select for your open positions.  

  2. Reference checks: Lastly, conduct v.e.r.y. thorough reference checks. Using the Top Grading Process, you are contacting three of the final candidate’s previous managers to find out their strengths, limitations, and other key skill areas for this role. The candidate contacts their prior managers on your behalf, introducing you and the reason for your call. It’s amazing how responsive they will be to help their previous employee! (Unless, of course their performance was not as stellar as they represented to you.)

If your team is successful, you as their leader are successful…right? Who you select to become team members is a critical part of this equation. Once you have your new employee hired, it’s important to take the time to give them a proper on-boarding. Socializing and integrating them into the team and the company is critical to their long-term success.

If selection is a challenge, please contact me to talk through solutions for you. Great hiring is truly an art!