Hiring the right talent

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The importance of hiring the right talent

Jacqui Gage-Brown

30 April, 2024

Blog & Resources

Securing the right hire is undoubtedly a hot topic among our clients at the moment. As we delve deeper into the intricacies of talent, it becomes evident that it involves much more than simply selecting the candidate with the most impressive CV or the one who makes the best impression during their interview.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged (well, at least among those of us who’ve made a few laps around the business block) that the ‘who’ decisions are the ones that really shape our teams and businesses. Jim Collins hit the nail on the head in “Good to Great” when he said, “The most important decisions that businesspeople make are not what decisions, but who decisions.” It’s not just about filling seats, it’s about understanding how these people will drive the what decisions that ultimately we want to take our businesses forward.

Hiring the right talent 

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen what a ‘bad apple’ employee can do to the vibe of a workplace. Whether it’s their knack for ‘falling ill’ every other Monday, the less-than-stellar attitude they lug around or not performing in the role as per expectations, the impact is real and, frankly, a bit of a downer. It sends ripples through the team, affecting morale and productivity.

These are the times when the company’s values are really called in to question. Suddenly, those funky values plastered on the wall by marketing and HR can seem more like decoration IF as leaders we ignore them, falling to live by them by allowing ‘off brand’ behaviour to pervade.

But here’s the kicker: the costs of not hiring the right talent are jaw-dropping. According to Geoff Smart and Randy Street in their book Who, a hiring mistake can set you back a whopping fifteen times the employee’s monthly salary. Through their extensive research (over 13,000 hours of interviews!), Smart and Street highlight these pitfalls:

  • Being unclear about the role’s requirements
  • Having a shallow candidate pool
  • The struggle to trust we’re making the right choice
  • Not managing to keep those star candidates interested

As leaders, how can we avoid these pitfalls?

Clarifying role requirements

All roles in the business should have the sole purpose of helping you reach the core purpose and BHAG.  The clearer the accountabilities and results for each role; and, the greater the alignment with the core purpose and BHAG, the faster the goals will be achieved.

As a starting point, look at your organisational structure – are all the roles in the structure directly linked to the business goals?  If not, why are they there and what value add function are they performing? If yes, what are the one or two results that each role in the organisational structure must do (the KPIs)?  Think about your strategy for the year – are all the roles that you needed on the organisational structure?  With this clear, then build out the accountabilities into a position description. 

Remember to build the roles on the needs of the business DO NOT build the roles around the people currently IN the business. 

Next step is asking yourself ‘do you have the right people on your bus… now that is a whole different blog article!

Expanding your candidate pool

When we advertise for a role, we get applications from people actively searching for a new role. But, if we diversify our recruitment efforts, we can explore other channels to seek out the passive job seekers, those who could be attracted to your business, maybe now or in the future, and jump on board your team. Using LinkedIn, we can search for people who fit our requirements and start a conversation with them. Networking and using the referral power of your existing team are also great ways provide access to a broader spectrum of candidates.

Building trust in hiring decisions

Adopting Geoff Smart and Randy Street’s process is one way to build trust in your hiring process. From setting out a scorecard, defining what you want a person to achieve in the role, through to sourcing a bench of candidates, and then having a standardised selection process with structured interviews will all ensure you can gather the right information from your candidates. You may also use personality tests, and involve other stakeholders in the interview process.

Keeping star candidates engaged

We know it happens, an application is submitted and then, nothing. To keep top candidates interested, we need to communicate openly and frequently throughout the hiring process. Providing a clear timeline and outlining the next steps following each interaction will help to ensure you are engaging your candidates. Of course, keep these comms personalised!

The next time you are jumping into the hiring fray, keep these questions front of mind:

  • What exactly are we hiring for?
  • How does this role fit into our broader strategic business roadmap?
  • What will the role holder be accountable for, and is this role genuinely necessary, or could it be outsourced (or in this day and age, driven by AI)?

Hiring the right talent means stepping back and taking a hard look at what we truly need, beyond just filling a vacancy. It’s about strategic alignment, understanding the competencies required, and ensuring the role fits not just the current needs, but the future direction of the business.

So, next time you’re faced with a hiring decision, remember it’s not just about the who that walks through the door, but the why, how, and where they fit into the grand scheme of things. Let’s make those decisions count, shall we?

Our team at Two Tides understands the importance of hiring the right talent in your team. If you’re needing to build your team, let’s chat. We have proven strategies that will see your team grow and thrive, helping you to reach your business and personal goals.