The Importance of Hiring Top-Flight Talent and How to Do It Right
Tips for incorporating your core values into recruiting, interviewing, hiring, onboarding and training talent so they sync up with the rest of your team.
Your tornado survival training continues this month. I shared two of four recommendations in the July issue, namely strategic vision and tactical traction. Did you do your homework? Did you listen to Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly” or watch the YouTube video as noted in July?
You probably think you are already flying around with regularity with your business commitments. Smart business pilots check flight plans, spell out core values, and are sure to have enough fuel for the next leg of the journey.
They also enlist a top-notch flight crew to navigate and communicate with the ground crews. Most importantly, be sure you have the right grade of fuel to top off your tank. Hiring the right talent is a fuel I recommend, and the third element in your tornado survival skills.
Candidates Should Align With Company’s Core Values
Finding the right personnel for your firm is easily said but difficult to do with the current growth economy where job openings actually exceed the unemployment rates for the first time in … well, seemingly forever. Let’s take a step back to how your strategic vision impacts your ability to hire people who fit your culture.
Cultural fit based on clearly defined company core values is often more important than industry experience. Traditional qualification filters are a bit too traditional for these times of competition for talent.
Take a more tactical approach to incorporating your core values into recruiting, interviewing, hiring, onboarding and training the talent that will willingly and enthusiastically jump in, grab an oar and start rowing in sync with the rest of your team.
Here are some characteristics to look for when searching for talent:
- Candidates will possess a high “grit” factor defined as the ability to pursue long-term goals with single-minded perseverance and a positive attitude, even in bad weather conditions.
- They positively meet all your core values, or neutrally meet a minimum of 15% of your values. Neutral may be correctable or trainable in the future. Never ever hire a person who is perceived as negative in any of your core values; they simply will not fit into the team.
- They are open-minded, active learners and have a natural drive toward curiosity. The industry, customers and technology are moving at a tornado wind speed, so having agile learners who can synthesize learning to action and deliver results will be a good investment.
- Seek out we, not me people. By this I mean quality talent that meets your core values, seeks more meaning and depth in their work and lives. They want to contribute to big ideas and purposes that help people. Make sure to review your vision and core values to see if your “company karma aura” (my old California days creep back in now and then) attracts the right followers.
Honest Communication Can Empower Leadership Team
The fourth, and arguably the most important, tornado survival training element is your leadership team. They may have driven your company to the party, but can they dance when the music unexpectedly changes?
Shifting from rock n’ roll to Motown or to classical is not easy. Their ability to be open-minded, humble and self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses is vital.
Business successes maintain leadership teams that have developed these skills through trust and have built solid, candid communication. Your leadership team must be the poster people for your core values to keep your company real, and you as the owner must be brutally honest with their expectations and assessments.
So what questions should you ask yourself? Here are a few:
- Does my team bring me problems to solve, or do they bring solutions to problems with solid critical thinking?
- Does my team challenge my thinking and expectations when they believe differently?
- Does my team display constructive friction to challenge perceptions and thinking?
- Does my team develop the true potential of the resources that are provided to deliver sustainable results?
- Does my team “own” their accountability by accepting responsibility for failure while acknowledging others for success?
- Is my team coachable to develop their leadership talents and will they accept challenges to grow?
- Do I really allow them to have their voices heard?
Surviving tornadoes takes a team effort of strategic planning, tactical execution, the right people, and the right leadership stuff; but even more crucial is a decisive pilot who sees a future with much better weather ahead!
There is an old saying among aviators that goes, “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.” Someone must have forgotten to tell Chuck Yeager that one. Be bold!
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