No secret, it is critical to find and hire the right people. As important as finding the right people is making sure that the people you hire are in the right jobs.
Start first with the importance of hiring the right people. If you have been in a leadership position for any time at all, you have made a “bad” hiring decision. A bad hiring decision does not necessarily mean that the person you hired was a bad employee. It could mean, however, that you hired someone who is not an ideal candidate for the position you need to fill. If, for example, you hired someone to fill a sales leadership position whom you discover through thorough reference checks (Yes, we still do those) has had very little leadership experience, you are setting yourself and that candidate up for great disappointment.
It is critical to be patient in the hiring process. It becomes easy to hire someone about whom you have “heard” good things without being certain that the person is
- An ideal candidate for the position
- A good fit for your team
- Ideally experienced in the exact task you require.
A person who is interviewing for a position with your team will never present himself or herself more favorably than he or she does during the interview process. I do take into account that some people experience anxiety during an interview which is why I advocate multiple interviews during the process with different people in the organization. By allowing the candidate to meet with different people on the team at different times, you afford yourself differing perspectives on the candidate, and you afford the candidate the benefit of finding a comfort level with different personalities.
Once you have found that ideal candidate, it is your responsibility to make sure that the gifts of that person are ideal for the job. Often, we find that right person and fail them by putting them into a position that does not best utilize their gifts. A skilled chemical engineer is not necessarily the best candidate to be your sales manager. I am not saying it is not possible, but exercise caution not to put great people in great positions that do not speak to their strengths.
Be sure to communicate clearly your expectations in every position. Be certain that the people on your team know what performance metrics you will use to determine success. Make sure your people know what you need from the position they are filling. Clear expectations and regular feedback will insure that you get what you need from that role and that the person you choose to fill the role will always know how they are performing against those expectations
Choose the right people for the right positions on your team. Then manage wisely.