What’s so darn difficult when hiring to build a great team?
In a recent survey, Direct Hiring Managers and HR Managers wanting to build a great team were asked to name what they considered to be the chief factors contributing to their talent shortages.
- 33% responded saying a lack of specific technical competencies (or hard skills) required for a particular role
- 31% said a lack of quality applicants
Approximately one in six employers (16%) claim that many times they are finding candidates lack the required “employability skills” soft skills. These deficient skills are identified as enthusiasm/motivation (5%), interpersonal skills (4%), professionalism/appearance/punctuality (4%), and flexibility and adaptability (4%).
5 common concerns to look for when hiring to build a team
- Hiring family and friends of current employees. The odds of experiencing interpersonal conflicts typically doubles when family and friends work together. It is very difficult to prevent issues from outside of the workplace from being brought inside. Establish and follow an overall hiring policy regarding friends and family even if it the only reason is to never appear to favor one employee’s request to interview a friend over another. The work place is not a social arena.
- Limiting yourself to individuals that apply for the job and not conducting an active employment search. The best candidates that actually meet your business requirements tend to be those already employed elsewhere – maybe even with your competitors. Because these candidates already have jobs, they are less likely to take notice of job postings. How do you get their attention? It may take a confidential inquiry from a third party with credibility in their field, a known and trusted advisor and/or a recommendation from someone who may have had a shared experience.
- Ignoring your instincts. Always weigh your impressions against objective data. If your gut is telling you something’s wrong, ask more questions. Determine the candidate’s personal objectives and motivations. If you cannot get a clear answer, consider online personality profiling. Don’t ever overlook complete and thorough reference checks that go beyond technical expertise.
- Believing you can change the person to meet your “fit” expectations or corporate culture.“Fit” is never as critical with short-term contractors as it is with team building. Some people work and interact a certain way and you simply can’t change them. It is important to decide up front what ‘flaws’ you are willing to accept as part of the total package. Be cognizant of the risk of creating a disgruntled team. Contractor Placement and Permanent Placement are two completely different industries. It is important to never confuse these two separate businesses.
- Focusing solely on skills and ignoring attitude. Skills can be trained, but enthusiasm, interpersonal skills and work ethic cannot. Try to hire for both skills and attitude. A candidate that is lacking a few specific skills could be a superstar, but a candidate who has poor interpersonal and/or communication skills may well be the hire you will always regret.
When putting together your hiring plan/strategy to build a great team, what questions to you need to ask yourself before committing to your direction?
- How much time do you have to devote to this search (include interview time) and what is your time worth?
- Do you need to determine who would be the appropriate type of candidate and where you would find them?
- What defines success in the position?
- Do you know potential candidates that you can contact directly?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to contacting people who are not looking for a new role and coaxing them to engage with you?
- What other activities are you putting on hold to do a proper and thorough search?
- What level of impact does filling this role have on your current business needs?
- Is an external reality check required to vet the role because of unrealistic thinking in terms of expectations and possibly a misguided hiring philosophy?
- Does it make sense to bring in hiring expertise to assess the requirements and realign thinking and/or organization structure to make the process successful?
“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.”
~Lee Iacocca, best-selling author, Father of the Ford Mustang and former CEO & Chairman, Chrysler Corporation