When you know what someone is like, you know what you can expect from them. Hiring right is the single most important factor in any organization in moving from a good to a great one.
Hiring is a high risk gamble that needs to be approached deliberately. A lot of time, effort, and resources go into hiring and developing new employees before it’s clear whether or not they are good fits. Months or even years can be wasted in training and retraining. So whenever you think you are ready to make someone an offer, think one last time about the important things that might go wrong and what else you can do to better asses those risks and raise your probability of being right.
Match the person to the design. In order to match a person to the design, start by creating a spec sheet so that there will be a consistent set of criteria that can be applied from recruiting through performance reviews. Don’t design jobs to fit people, this is a big mistake which most of us make. The process for choosing people should be systematically built out and evidence based.
Remember that people are built very differently and that different ways of seeing and thinking make people suitable for different jobs. Understand how to use and interpret personality assessments. People tend to pick people like themselves, so choose interviewers who can identify what you are looking for. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Look for people who are willing to look at themselves objectively. People typically don’t change all that much.
Think of your team the way that sports managers do. No one person possesses everything required to produce success, yet everyone must excel. Excellence in each is mandatory, the success of the mission is uncompromisable, and employees that don’t measure up may need to be cut. When teams operate with such high standards and shared values, extraordinary relationships are likely to develop.
Pay attention to people’s track records. Do they have a track record of excellence in what you’re expecting them to do ? Check references. As much as possible, you want to get a clear and objective picture of the path that they have chosen for themselves and how they have evolved along the way. Don’t assume that a person who has been successful elsewhere will be successful in the job you’re giving them. Make sure your people have character and are capable.
Don’t hire people just to fit the first job they will do, hire people you want to share your life with. Look for people who have lots of questions. Show candidates your wants clearly. When considering compensation, provide both stability and opportunity. Pay for the person and not for the job.
Finally in great partnerships, consideration and generosity are more important than money. Be generous and expect generosity from others. Great people are hard to find so make sure you think about how to retain them.
Hire right and then retain them.