5 Reasons Why The Leadership Team is Key to the Success of the Organization?

February 15th, 2014

As stated in a previous blog, senior leadership creates the primary drivers of company success or failure. The buck stops with them….on many different fronts.

Strategy and vision for hiring top-quality staff ranks at the top, followed by the execution, and proper management/oversight of the strategy and vision. In other words, the leadership team must not only set the hiring strategy and create the vision but also be instrumental in the governance of the actual talent acquisition.

To highlight, here are 5 key actions the company’s leadership team can initiate — through their role in the hiring process — optimizing keys to organizational performance in acquiring high-caliber, proven top-performing talent.

  1. Direct the development of a hiring strategy and vision. This may be referred to as a Talent Acquisition Strategy. It needs to cover how each position will be filled, the hiring process, interviewing methods, who participates in interviews with different levels of candidates, communication with the candidates, offer process, and on-boarding are a few examples.
  2. Set the pace by taking action in line with the strategy for positions reporting directly to them. They must set the example of executing the strategy and get it right, both by the results achieved and by the process followed to generate the results. Everyone hiring and involved in interviews must have training and follow the designed process.
  3. Play major role in determining company success (or lack of) and what the organization becomes, based on the talent acquisition decisions/results. An “A” player in a leadership role will be compelled to build an “A” team, and to that avail, commit the resources and process necessary to accomplish that objective.
  4. Determine the values and purposes of the people hired, consciously. Strong leadership will not hire unconsciously. “A” level talent comes packaged in a variety of looks. It is the obligation of leadership to hire consciously. It will be necessary to look past first impressions: Are they like me? Do they interview well? Is their image above average?   They must get to the real “pattern of performance” data and decide based on the data. Can the candidate excel (in the role) based on past performance, depth of experience, and track record of success? Are they motivated to pay the price for success? These are the questions that consciously tuned in leaders will focus on answering.
  5. Provide oversight for setting the performance standards. Management with a stick doesn’t create valued performance. Goals depicting desired performance and rewards for achieving accomplished performance go a long way in motivating top-performers. Those not performing to standards must be penalized for their best interest. Leaders developing and governing (non-political) performance management as part of the Talent Acquisition vision will drastically increase the odds of organizational success.

All 5 of these actions enhance organizational performance. At Honer and Associates, we assist our clients in creating and executing powerful talent acquisition strategies. If you need to add additional “A” players to your organization in key areas, please contact us today.

The Importance of Consciously Hiring

January 15th, 2014

Most organizations unconsciously hire. Setting specific goals for the quality of hiring isn’t given any attention, and without goals for hiring high-quality talent, management teams are left with a typical – although not optimal alternative- to hire qualified talent, possessing appropriate skills, that can do the job. In other words, they interview and hire candidates experienced with necessary skills to do the job that sell themselves in an above average manner.

An unconscious hire is gauged by skills. The job description is the main tool. It lays out what skills and years of experience the person has to have to do the job. So if the job description says that a candidate needs “4 years of this skill” and “7 years of that experience”; these become the focus of screening and interviewing content.

This also indicates a lack of conscious planning within the talent acquisition strategy (if a talent acquisition strategy exists). The job description is a document that addresses the micro part of the role and answers the question: What skills does an employee use when they perform this role? It does not discuss (in much detail):

  • The scope of responsibilities
  • Problems to be solved and goals to be accomplished
  • What success looks like, near and long term
  • The defined hurdles and challenges
  • Attributes and competencies necessary to perform at a superior level and exceed the status quo.

What the candidate “has to have” gets much of the attention – skills that mirror the role and the number of years, type of experience necessary to do the job,etc.

Making a high-quality hire requires giving conscious thought to what a high-caliber or high performing individual looks like. Ask and identify what a successful track record would include, the experiential options that line up for the role, competencies necessary, and the definition of a successful candidate. These are the musts for an effective position profile.

Be proactive; detail the responsibilities of the role – figure out what needs to get done over the next 12-18 months. In addition, picture the environment in 12-18 months given successful performance by the candidate in this role.

Hiring high-quality talent depends on determining the caliber of individual candidates. To select the highest-caliber person – and the best fit for the position – determine what success looks like and the competency required to be successful, beyond years of experience. Spend time identifying the candidate’s past performance profile, their individual caliber and not what skills they possess. Trust that a motivated, high-caliber candidate will learn what skills they need to know to excel in the position, especially if they have done that in the past.

Give thought to how the level of experience for the role is established. Does it happen by going through the role and determining the position’s degree of difficulty? What are the responsibilities and events that must get accomplished? What type of experience, track record, and competencies would a candidate need to excel? Put an accurate (and conscious) position profile together spelling it out. Completed successfully, hiring can be more conscious, proactive and beneficial to all concerned.

At Honer and Associates, we understand how to consciously hire, and we can assist you in finding the high-caliber people for your key positions. So contact us today!

When Attempting to Hire Top Performing Talent, the Last Meeting Needs to be a Planned Meeting to Judge Fit and Motivation

November 29th, 2013

Most companies – when interviewing – structure their process the same.  Candidates are initially run through a screening interview, followed by either a panel interview or a series of structured/unstructured one-on-one interviews.

At the end of this process a yes / no decision is made and if yes, an offer is extended to the candidate.

However, the important final step is missing…a last, “gloves-off” meeting between the hiring manager and the candidate to answer the candidates’ questions, sell them on the opportunity.  It is also a chance for the hiring manager to judge fit and motivation.

The reason is simple.  Through the entire interviewing process, all candidates are in “interview mode”.  They have asked some questions about the job, the expectations, and the company.  However, they have not had the green light to ask “what’s in it for me” or “why, is this for me”?

This last meeting usually doesn’t happen as companies still think all candidates want to come to work for them because they showed up for an interview and the interview processes’ only purpose is candidate selection, a weeding out of candidates – not in telling the candidate what is in it for them.

Recently, a lot of hiring emphasis has been put on cultural fit.  But is it possible to judge a cultural match between candidate and culture? Probably not, as most crystal balls don’t work.  However, understanding the candidate’s motivation in changing positions has become a much more relevant topic as it will dictate “fit” in hiring the high-caliber candidate.

High-caliber candidates fit in any organization.  The real question is, are they motivated to fit?  So, if the hiring manager never has the “gloves off conversation” with candidates about their requirements, their needs, their goals…in other words, their motivation…the company runs the risk of hiring a poor cultural match.

For example, company recently hired a top performing IT candidate.  After   3-4 months of high-performance, the person quit.  During the exit interview, the company found the employee simply did not like the fast pace of the company.

The CIO went back to the interviewing panel and asked if they had investigated whether a fast-paced environment was a good match.  They had, but – of course – the candidate said “yes”. The person was in “interview mode”.  The candidate wanted the job.  A “no” answer would have immediately eliminated him.

A last and final meeting between the hiring manager and candidate – be it breakfast, an offsite lunch, or dinner – to get out of the “interview mode” will be a huge benefit for both candidate and hiring manager.  During this “gloves off meeting”, the hiring manager needs to be able to have a full, complete and open discussion with the candidate about the position and future, making sure the candidate’s desires/motivation are apparent. At the same time, candidates can get all their questions answered and the hiring manager can sell the benefits of the company / job.

When hiring high-caliber staff, cultural fit is not about whether or not a person’s inherent personality fits within the company. It’s really about motivation…does the person want the job, feel the opportunity is challenging, and find the company attractive. It all revolves around communication and full disclosure to make a successful hire.

At Honer and Associates, we understand this.  We can help you recruit the most motivate, talent people in the IT industry.  Contact us today!