Dilemma: I interviewed an “A” player but the rest of the management team passed on her; in retrospect, I should have brought her in because she had the skills and qualifications we hire for. How do I get my team to both recognize and embrace bringing on high-quality talent?
Thoughts of the Day:Make sure your team is confident in their roles. Define the goals that need to be met, and the talent that is required to get to those goals. Give the team a payoff for hitting the ball out of the park. Get everyone up to speed with how to search for, identify, and hire great candidates.
When you notice that company decisions are being influenced by emotions rather than business metrics, it might be time to assess your team members to ensure that everyone is not only thinking about, but also prioritizing, the operation’s best interests—that means not just catering to a few squeaky wheels’ personal preferences.
• Are your team members comfortable in the roles they hold?
• Do they understand how they can continue to grow with the organization?
• Do they want to keep growing?
• Do they understand the payoffs that come with personal development?
If you can honestly answer “yes” to all of these questions, then congratulations: You’re already halfway home to getting your team focused on hiring great talent.
But if there are any “no” answers, you need to put your time and energy into figuring out what’s wrong. First and foremost, your team needs to be just that—a team. That means they’re a unified force working toward the same goal, instead of simply looking out for themselves.
Take another look at the people with whom you’ve surrounded yourself and to whom you’ve trusted your company. Now ask yourself:
• Do you have the right people around you, just perhaps not all in the right roles?
• Are any of your team members in over their heads and in need of rescuing?
• Do you have management team members or employees who can only define themselves by putting others down?
These are all common management problems, but they do need to be fixed before you can move on to add more talent (and, ultimately, disruption) to the mix. As you consider the deficiencies or ill fits that need to be resolved, do a careful assessment of every key player in your organization especially.
If you need a starting point, work with each team member to ensure that they’re on a growth path that benefits both them and their place on the team, and plan the steps to achieve that growth path. For any team members who are struggling, consider partnering them with someone who is strong in those areas to set a good example. Give them time to develop additional skills and carefully assess how well they’re doing at tackling the opportunities you put in front of them. Reinforce that an understanding of respect, integrity, striving to achieve more, and helping others succeed are all values you expect to see every day.
Help your team members by setting goals for both the company and the talent pool. Map out one-, two-, and three-year goals at a minimum. Define where the business is going and how to get there. Involve your team members when it comes to mapping out the best plan of attack. Talk about how much and what kind of additional talent will be needed in order to achieve those goals. Encourage team members to identify talent gaps that must be filled in order to reach the next tier of success.
"...your team needs to be just that—a team. That means they’re a unified force working toward the same goal, instead of simply looking out for themselves.”Instead of rewarding individual performance, set up bottom-line rewards. If the company grows, and improves, the bottom line will improve, too. Offer to share a portion of that increased net income with everyone on the team. Help everyone understand that once basic salaries are handed out, the big rewards will come from hitting the ball out of the park in terms of revenue growth and increasing profit.
Define the positions that will need to be filled, and build training plans for people to grow into those jobs when promoting internally is an option. When there isn’t enough time to train someone or there isn’t anyone interested in growing into a particular job, that’s where the team needs to focus its hiring efforts. Make hiring great talent a group goal with group rewards. Your team should have the necessary training to develop both searching and hiring skills.
Encourage everyone on the team to be invested in the company’s success—that should be everyone’s job, if the company is going to ultimately build its “A” team. [CD0719]
Robyn Goldenberg is Director of Operations and Marketing for Strategy Leaders. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.