When asked what functions / responsibilities were most disliked by management the overwhelming response was consistent (and of no real surprise) – having the responsibility for “effectively hiring employees and correctly firing their mistakes” absolutely topped the list.
We all know, only too well, that it’s our people that make or break the success of our organizations, our teams and subsequently our own results. It is totally understandable that effectively hiring and correctly firing staff creates tremendous stress, pressure, headaches and sleepless nights – particularly when the market is not as hale, hearty and healthy as we’d like with high performance people.
The tenuous task of attracting and engaging with strategic talent is significantly more challenging than it was even one year ago. Haven’t you notice the notable decrease in applicants you are seeing? Have you noticed that the majority that does apply may not have even understood your opportunity requirements? Yup, there is a significantly lowered percentage of qualified candidates responded to adverts and postings.
Why has hiring people that will build your future become so problematic? To start with, your expectations may have changed. You are likely no longer satisfied just to put a bum in a seat or hire a laundry list of technical skills. Nowadays you need a corporate culture fit, the skills to clearly communicate ideas and provide feedback along with a strong desire to make contributions over the long term. In other words the whole enchilada – that secret sauce that will ensure the continuing high-performance of your team.
As a business leader you may be able to produce quality candidates easily if you have an appropriate and well developed network of connections that you can target and begin to contact. Conversely you can also run an ad, throw up a job posting on your website or post on various social media sites in hope that the talent ON-the-market will respond. Then the process begins – screening, contacting, selling (yes, I said selling), courting, interviewing, shortlisting and convincing the right person to accept your offer of joining your team.
If that doesn’t appeal to you because of the disruption caused to your day-to-day business another tactic might be needed. There is always social media however despite all the buzz around this approach you may still be in a “post and wait” position. Unfortunately social media hasn’t shortened, streamlined or made the hiring process any easier at all – it is a great tactic if that is all you have to do.
So – is it time for plan B?
There are a couple of ways you can execute Plan B. There is the mass market / volume approach but unfortunately that doesn’t always give off the right impression about you or your company or really nail your requirements. The second approach is a much more focused method. This means a bona fide practice that assesses, deliberates and weighs your needs to produce a hand-picked and shortlisted selection.
There is no question that when you build your team you want to hire the best talent IN-the-market. You need to address both your hiring requirements and your expectations. Check that your corporate culture has been clearly defined and your corporate brand is being respectably and professionally represented. After all, you want quality individuals to be interested in joining your team! Your search and selection process will have to be conducted using real-world leadership experience, strong business acumen, uncommon insight and a great deal of personal integrity. That translates to a balance of part salesman, career counselor, consultant, advisor, fact finder, archaeologist, and “shrink”.
In an industry that is all about people, it is vital that we never believe online tools and job postings will ever replace the human touch and good judgment by competent business focused individuals.
“In the minds of great managers, consistent poor performance is not primarily a matter of weakness, stupidity, disobedience, or disrespect. It is a matter of miscasting.”
~Marcus Buckingham Author “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently”