If you recruit and hire well, the odds of your team performing well go up dramatically. There are three key considerations for making sure you’re hiring well. If you follow these principles, you should end up with a highly-talented team much faster than you would building it from scratch.
One of the most exciting aspects of building a high performing team is recruiting people to be members of that team. There’s nothing better than finding that really talented person who wants to come work with you.
As you think about doing this recruiting and finding the right people, first you need to understand how to create role descriptions based on the team skill needs. Next, you need to think about hiring from non-traditional sources, based on skill sets rather than experience. Last, when you’re hiring somebody, don’t just think about the role you’re hiring them into, but think one role ahead so those people have headroom to grow when they join your team.
Experience-Based Versus Skill-Based Job Descriptions
Experience-based role descriptions might sound like “The individual must have five years of experience on a small business credit union underwriting team working at a small, mid-Atlantic community bank with multiple branches.” That’s a really specific description and there are very few people who probably meet those requirements. By writing a description that way, you’ve shrunk the recruiting base that you can find somebody in, and, by the way, those experiences might not be relevant to the skills the team needs.
Instead, write skill-based job descriptions. Think about what initiatives you’re pursuing and what skills the person has to have to work on those projects. For example, “the individual must have the ability to perform complex financial analysis and combine those results with judgment to make effective decisions.” I just opened up the pool of applicants I can pursue, dramatically, versus that very narrow experience-based job description.
Those skill-based job descriptions open the applicant pool. This approach will enable you to hire new people more quickly. You’re going to hopefully get some new perspectives from those folks on the work that you do versus getting somebody with deep experience who is going to come in and say, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it, so we should keep doing it that way.”
Hiring From Non-Traditional Sources
Next, in terms of hiring, once you have that skill-based job description, think differently in terms of where you go to find people. Different perspectives and different experiences are going to bring new ideas into your organization. They may also bring new skills to the team that you might not have or that you might not realize you don’t have. The team may value those new experiences and new skills more than you ever thought.
Additionally, by looking at non-traditional sources, you’ll probably have less competition for that great talent. Instead of recruiting from Harvard Business School where every organization in the world is trying to hire those graduates, perhaps you look at different schools where you have less competition.
Maybe try and pick off the top two people at Podunk University’s Business School. By looking at non-traditional sources, you have less competition and those candidates might be much more eager to work for you.
Hiring for Their Next Role
Last, when you hire this person, don’t just hire for the role that you want them to do. You have to give them head room to grow into. People want to be excited and challenged. They want the opportunity to build their skills which builds their personal marketability.
People enjoy the challenge of overcoming obstacles. When you hire them, make sure they can do 70 percent of the role you’re hiring them for and they’re going to need to learn 30 percent. When you hire somebody who has 100 percent of the skills required for the role you’re bringing them into, that’s a very safe bet for you as a recruiter and as a leader.
But think about it from that individual’s perspective. If they can come in and do all elements of that job on day one, it’s going to get pretty boring pretty quickly. You create flight risk for them. They come into that role and they say, “I’ve got it all figured out.” Well, after about six months, when they start asking what’s next and you tell them, “just keep doing what you’re doing” they’re going to become disenfranchised and frustrated. They’ll likely start looking for more challenging opportunities.
When you’re thinking about role progression for people when you bring them in, you need to ensure there’s a path of future role possibilities for them. Most people, especially ones that are going to gravitate toward the high performing team you’re trying to build, are looking at that career path and thinking about how they can grow. That’s a very strong source of personal motivation for them. Make sure you provide them those opportunities.
To get the most out of your recruiting efforts, think about skill-based versus experience-based role descriptions. Look in non-traditional places for people who have those skills. When you hire them, think about their growth path ahead and make sure they’ve got room to grow and develop as individuals.
Want to learn more about this topic? How about taking an entire course on it? Check out the video below to learn more about the course and get started. Or you can go directly to the course and start learning how to lead a high-performing team. The entire course is available at lynda.com. Enjoy!
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