Twenty-five years of experience leading business teams has taught me many aspects of producing desired KPIs, operational improvements, and P&L performance. Above all is the realization that nothing happens without the “RIGHT PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT SEAT ON THE BUS.” It begins with hiring and recruiting the necessary talent (lead measure) to produce the desired results (lag measure).
Let’s start with a few critical questions all businesses must effectively understand to recruit, hire, and build your #1 asset: your TEAM!
- Do you have an established culture built and exercised by current leadership? Culture must exist through all generations: past, present, and future. For various reasons, Organizations often become misguided when leadership changes occur. An organization’s culture should not be impacted simply by a leadership change. Now, for clarity, a change in leadership often comes with a different direction or vision for the organization. However, does that mean the core culture must also change? Leadership often follows suit as business environments change and place different demands on organizations to change. Does that mean the organization must change its culture and how it acts and beliefs? Culture is a “living way of life” that must be woven throughout the fabric of your organization. Yes, I’m saying that from the CEO to the janitor, culture doesn’t change!
- When you hear the term “brand ambassador,” what do you think of? I think of a “Culture Ambassador.” The individual doesn’t have to “rehearse” what and who the organization is about. Do you have a go-to Culture Ambassador? Who would that person be if you had to name one right now? Why did you choose this individual? Where are “the gaps” between that individual and others? What process or plan is in place to close the gap?
Marketing your Culture
- How do you market your culture to prospective team members?
- Do you have your “Culture Ambassador” involved in the recruiting and hiring decision process? It’s not enough to know the job descriptions of the organization. Most people memorize the roles and responsibilities of jobs. Fewer to talk about the job from an ambassador’s perspective and identify what a resume doesn’t tell you.
- If you had to produce a video showing your culture, how many edits would be necessary before you are comfortable marketing it to the world of potential team members?
- Where have you sourced talent, and why did you use that method? If you are in a specialized field, like doctors and lawyers, it requires specific talents, skills, education, and specialized training. Therefore, where you source talent must be specific to your talent.
- Now that you have prospective candidates in front of you, what do you do? How do you identify the RIGHT PEOPLE to fit the culture of your organization? I must share what I know and what doesn’t work very well. That is doing most of the talking! You should do 25-30% of the talking in an interview. If you are out of balance and must show you are the authority, I challenge that thought process. It’s critical to understand that you are not there to sell the candidate on your organization at this point. It is critical to understand that your only information is what the candidate shared with you on paper. Do you trust that information? How do you know if it is accurate? This is why it’s critical to ask behavioral-based questions, i.e., tell me about a time when… This question encourages you to listen, lends itself to the candidate walking you through their thought process, and gives insight into how the candidate convincingly verbalizes their thoughts. You will also see how the candidate shows emotions and confidence in themselves or their professional experiences based on the line of questioning. I always recommend studying the resume beforehand and considering your takeaways BEFORE the interview. In other words, what do you need to know to feel comfortable that the candidate is an excellent cultural fit for your organization?
- What not to do; simply put, is ask closed-ended questions. These are questions that only solicit a yes or no response! These questions will likely lead to a bad hire and increased chances of a separation of employment because you will not see the candidate’s true personality. Years of conducting interviews have taught me that candidates will try their best to tell you what you want to hear. As the person conducting the interview, it is critical to uncover candidates’ truths and personality types. After all, you are potentially hiring someone you are counting on to do well with others who can communicate their thoughts and ideas to add to your organization. Please understand that this is likely the best you will ever see this candidate! In other words, their appearance, behavior, and confidence will never be better. As I always say, the interview is the honeymoon. Once the honeymoon is over and you see whom you will spend considerable time with, it will become apparent whether the relationship will continue. So, it’s worth the investment to get to know the person, how they behave, and how they act during the engagement phase of the relationship. Finding out after the hire means more work, which slows productivity and can be costly to your organization in many ways, not just financially.
So, you made a hire. What’s next?
- Congratulations! You have now hired a superstar in your organization. What do you do now? Welcome your newest team member and give a warm introduction to your organization. Having the new team members introduce themselves and share a bit about themselves goes a long way. This practice also allows you to see how they see themselves! The words they use and how they communicate who they are to strangers will show a lot. You will learn more about the team members during their introduction that you should have uncovered during the interview and selection process. Not only will you learn more about your new team member, but in some cases, you will see dynamics change in your current team depending on personality types. So don’t just focus on the outstanding new team member; pay attention to how others respond to them. As a leader, once you hire a new team member, nothing is worse than having a “no call, no show” shortly after the hire. What makes it painful is NOT KNOWING THE WHY!