It seems intuitive that we should hire the best possible people for every position in our company. But in reality, this happens less often than we may care to believe.
The hiring process is critically important, and it needs to be executed well. If you are truly looking to hire the best talent, then you will be competing against other companies, so putting your best foot forward could make all the difference.
The problem often starts with a lack of clarity about the skills required for the position.
Job descriptions may be poorly written, and performance expectations may be ill-defined. Prospective employees may fail to get a good overview of the company — where it’s going and the reasons why someone would want to join the team.
When hiring for “low-level” positions, some managers may believe that anybody with a pulse will suffice, especially when they see that role as non-critical. They fail to consider the company’s culture and the importance of having everyone work well together.
Every individual on the team has an important role to play. All employees must be willing to pull in the same direction and be able to provide the expertise and service levels that the team needs to succeed.
There is also the reality that some managers are afraid to hire the best people. They may be cautious about being replaced themselves.
These managers are often reluctant to give existing employees the opportunity to shine or give them the credit they deserve for the contributions they make.
Clearly, there are some obstacles to effective hiring and recruiting. So what do we do about them?
First, we must be thoughtful in defining and communicating the requirements and specific skills necessary to perform well in that role.
The hiring process should be rigorous. Having more than one person interview job applicants can ensure there is balance in the hiring process.
Everyone involved should understand the goal of hiring the most skilled applicant who will fit well into the company culture.
Leaders must pay close attention to managers who consistently struggle with hiring the best people. Low performance measures and high employee turnover rates may point to managers that need help.
These struggling managers need development and encouragement to feel more comfortable with their hiring role. As their responsibilities became more complicated, they may not have kept pace with the new demands and skills required. Extra training may be necessary.
We need to convince managers that the stronger the team, the better they look.
When they surround themselves with the best possible people and encourage them to shine, it reflects favorably on their effectiveness as managers. Most importantly, the work produced by a strong team is noticeably better than anything the manager could do on their own.
It’s a win for the manager, their team and the company.
Leaders must foster a work culture where everyone believes they both need and deserve to hire the very best people. It’s a culture that recognizes and celebrates achievement.
As managers praise team members, and are praised for the team’s success, it will lessen their personal concerns about having the best people on their team.
Long-term success is built on a foundation of energized and engaged employees. Once you’ve found the best people, then you can further develop their talent.
Being on the team is all about contributing great performance, and being recognized and rewarded for it.
Want more leadership tips from Coach Jerry Baker? Download his free eBook, Leadership Lessons from the Ground Up.
This is an updated version of an earlier post, originally published March 2, 2015.