If staffing is one of your leadership responsibilities, you undoubtedly know that hiring “the right people” can be tough and tedious work. But it’s also important work – arguably the most important function you will ever perform.
With few exceptions, the more effort you put into the hiring process, the less you need to devote to managing the performance of the people you bring on. As the old saying goes: You can pay in the beginning, or you can pay in the end … with interest. So, what can you do to help ensure you hire the best people for each available job? Here are a few suggestions that could help:
1. Draw a line in the dirt! Refuse to hire individuals who haven’t behaviorally demonstrated a commitment to values such as integrity, responsibility, respect, etc. Don’t fall into the “belief trap” – believing (or hoping) that you can train for these characteristics at a later date. It rarely happens.
2. Hire people for who they are. One of the biggest mistakes most employers make is to value previous work experience above all else. In today’s rapidly changing world, however, experience often represents “how it used to be done.” When evaluating candidates, look for traits like hard-working, good team player, dependable, honest, etc. – rather than just an inventory of skills they acquired in previous employment.
3. Hire for tomorrow’s job. Don’t just hire for a position, hire for the future. Jobs, technologies, and markets are changing faster than ever. Look for people who are intelligent, quick learners, and adaptable to change.
4. Bring on people who are different from you. You don’t need anyone else to think what you think and do what you do. You’re already there! Look for fresh and different people who will bring fresh and different ideas. Hire for diversity.
Today’s lesson is from Leadership Courage By David Cottrell and Eric Harvey
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