Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hire the right person!

It's critical to focus on hiring the best candidate.  Everyone brings something new to the table... that's how organizations grow.  When we hire clones, or have a fear of hiring someone who has stronger skills in a specific area than we do, we limit our teams' growth potential.  When we maintain that raised bar, we can eventually find and attract talent that contributes to the growth of a team.  Hiring a great candidate is a lot of work, and takes a great deal of time.  Hiring a poor candidate has little upfront cost, but oh... the challenge of holding them accountable takes many times more effort that one who is competent... and has a major negative impact on your team dynamics and personality.  It's important to engage the team in the hiring process, this is a good opportunity to get their feedback on a candidate's technical skills, and organization fit.  Don't settle, hire smart.

We need people that can bring independent perspectives to a discussion, and provide contrasting opinions.  Everyone has certain strengths, and weaknesses.  As part of employee development it's critical to invest in not only development of technical skills... we need to provide stretch opportunities, as well as feedback on improving communications and presentations skills for different audiences, managing projects, taking ownership, and being customer focused.  It's not a me thing... it becomes a we thing - and a team competency.  The team becomes engaged in improving one another, providing peer feedback, and become active in the continuous improvement and growth of the team.

Hiring people that are weaker may seem like a smart path to job preservation.  However, it's not.  Hiring extremely intelligent independently motivated people that have a good skills foundation... that are willing to learn and share, and that can be counted on to do the right thing is definitely the smarter choice.  They may initiate more difficult conversations because they may challenge existing processes and direction.  However, this can lead to the further growth of the organization.  Leadership isn't about taking the easy path... it's about setting the right tone and direction.