Are you hiring the best people?
In our consulting practice, advising small to medium size companies on organizational design and development, we often witness organizations stumble in their hiring practices. Not because they don’t want to hire great people, it is because they aren’t hiring the best people that will help them develop solutions to the problems they are trying to solve and achieve their organizational goals.
This is a common problem, often perpetuated by outdated hiring practices, where organizations look solely at the “hard” competencies such as technical skills and tend to ignore the “soft” skills such as mindset, values, and character of the person.
A recent case study
We were recently involved with a Healthcare IT company (name withheld) that was growing rapidly and needed sales representatives. Up to that point the sales team had been part of the crew that launched the firm three years previously and had not needed to hire more people. Focused on getting a warm body with sales experience, they hired “Jim” who had ten years of experience. He came from a much larger firm with decent references but said he wanted to work for a small “startup” and use his expertise to help them get to the next level.
For the first four months, Jim was doing well. On month 5 Jim’s performance dropped. He had been given autonomy to do his work, and he was frequently out of the office pursuing leads for the company. But during month five the amount of time he spent out of the office doubled yet the number of leads and revenue he was bringing in dropped significantly.
When his manager checked in with him at the end of the month about his performance, Jim got defensive. He told his manager that he did not appreciate him micromanaging him and that he would meet the targets set for him. His manager, who had felt for a couple of weeks that something was “off” went to talk with the VP of Sales, “Pamela”. Pamela had just received something from accounting about Jim’s expense account. He had hosted an event on the company’s account that was not tied to a lead or recent opening of an account.
This story ends with the manager confronting Jim about the expense. Jim admitted that he had been using company resources to start his own company and that the dinner was related to his new venture. Jim was promptly fired.
How could this have been avoided?
Prior to hiring Jim, the company could have embarked on a new way of hiring, a new process, developed with the help of Bridge 3.
This new hiring process would include 4 critical components:
- An understanding the culture and how things get done in the organization.
- An assessment process to determine the values and mindsets at play.
- Development of a cultural map of the organization.
- Determining how to identify the best people to hire by not only their technical skill set and experience, but also character, values and mindset.
By focusing on hiring the best people, and not just a specific skill set, chances are you will employ high performers and help the organization achieve positive outcomes.
Is your organization ready to get a system in place that ensures hiring the best people?