Managers Need to be Assessed and Accountable for the Quality of Candidates They Hire and Improving Quality of Staff – Year Over Year

July 30th, 2013

Most organizations hold VPs, directors and managers accountable for business objectives and performance, but few hold these same leaders accountable for the individual caliber and individual performance of the staff they lead.

Management drives candidate/staff quality by setting standards and publically announcing those standards. However, it is very rare any follow-up or accountability accompanies these standards. To effectively deliver improved performance and staff quality, organizations must make this follow-up a significant part of leadership’s performance criteria. This includes both the quality of new staff hired (both internal and external hires) and the improvement of individual staff performance.

Change requires C-level executive sponsorship and will not be successful if only sponsored by middle management, this creates too much inconsistency.  It has to be made publically important and has to be constantly reinforced by the highest reaches of management.

Senior leadership plays the key role in creating a culture that rewards hiring high-caliber, top-performers and eliminates incompetent, unmotivated staff. No strategy (or change in strategy) depending on increased staff quality year over year can be effective without this culture change and public senior leadership support.

Performance management system

Beyond a public call for change from C-level executives, managers need to be accountable for the quality of both their hires and their staff.  Therefore, staff quality needs to be a large part of the VP, director, and manager-level performance evaluation.  This is done by establishing staff improvement as a performance metric.

Implementing an effective performance management program is required for success.  This program must consist of three components:

  1. Non-political – Any performance evaluation program must be non-political (and more importantly viewed as non-political). Processes must be put in place to keep politics out of the performance calibration. It is also important to use a 360-degree review for everyone in the organization at a minimum of once per year. With a 360-degree review, accurate feedback is provided from all staff levels, thus creating an accurate picture.
  2. Effective – Forced rankings are not necessary.  Simply instituting an ABC plan, where candidates are ranked either A, B, or C, or an MBO plan (based on performance) is more effective and less divisive. Theoretically, a leader to could have all of his staff be A players or C’s for that matter.
  3. Performance timeline – A performance timeline needs to be implemented.  Each year, managers are given a goal (measured by metrics) to produce incremental improvement in the quality of staff they have, either by hiring high-caliber staff, managing out incompetency, or both.

The need is critical.  Staff quality impacts almost every organizational aspect – culture, recruiting, employer brand, etc. By making staff quality a key component of a leadership evaluation, attention is placed on a high-impact issue.  Management understands that staff quality is important, and that they will be evaluated and incented to change and focus their efforts to hiring selectively and improving staff quality.

Honer and Associates understands this.  If you are looking to put together a customized Talent Acquisition Strategy – one that is designed to help you build a quality team, contact Honer and Associates today.  We are glad to help.

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