7 Tips on How the Best Leaders Hire
A soaring unemployment rate due to the Coronavirus pandemic has left great talent in limbo and looking for work. For many, making the right hire with so many excellent candidates to choose from can be daunting as mistakes are costly.
So how do the best leaders select the right talent for their organisation when the market has shifted? They proceed as they have always done – with clarity and consistency.
These leaders understand that it is the performance of the staff they lead that will ultimately determine the success or failure of any business. For them, making the right hiring decision is always crucial.
So how do the best leaders hire the best? The following are 7 key hiring steps and tactics the best leaders employ:
- They carefully define job responsibilities and expectations.
A clearly defined job description is their versatile tool. It outlines the role, requirements, and core competences to ensure they are attracting qualified candidates. It also indicates the behaviours critical to their company culture such as: collaborative team play; strong interpersonal skills; and the ability to communicate effectively.
- They have a clear picture of the soft skills required for job success.
Soft skills such as listening, communication and collaboration are just as important as hard or technical skills. Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative, and healthy work environment and better business outcomes. Leaders see them as ‘power skills,’ because, without them, people’s technical skills will not be as effective.
- They deep dive using behavioural interview questions.
Leaders want to be sure the candidate will fit into the corporate culture and team and have the right attitude. To get beyond canned answers, leaders rely on behavioural interviews to gain a deeper insight into the personality and drivers of the individual.
For example, “tell me about a time when you worked with a difficult team member and how you resolved the problem?” or “give me an example of when you had to assume leadership for a team and how did you support them towards their goals?”
- They often request others to join them in the interview process.
Involving others in the evaluation process lowers their chances of hiring a candidate from a biased perspective. Multiple opinions from team members and key stakeholders provide different viewpoints for the best hiring outcomes.
It also makes team members feel valued and gives them a sense of ownership in the success of the new employee. For the candidate, it provides further insight into possible future co-workers, the company, and the culture.
- Going beyond the resume.
Leaders use behaviour assessments in their recruitment process, and its often the missing element to help differentiate between two candidates that might appear very similar on paper. Behavioral assessment tools provides leaders with the power to identify specific personality traits and behavioural tendencies, so they can see which candidate is naturally inclined to succeed in a specific role, and who would have that all important “fit” with the team, culture and organisation.
- They look for a growth mindset and desire to learn.
Individuals with a growth mindset embrace challenges, learn from mistakes, and do not mind stepping out of their comfort zone. Leaders know these candidates bring value to the company because of their positive outlooks, ‘can do’ attitudes, dedication to continuous learning, and a strong ability and desire to reach a higher level of achievement.
During the interview process, ‘growth mindset’ queries are added to the behavioural interviewing questions such as: what’s the most recent business book you read and why? Who inspires you and why?
- They put in place superior onboarding and orientation programs.
Leaders don’t underestimate the importance of a new employee’s first impressions of the company. They carefully plan so that any barriers to integrating new hires quickly and efficiently are overcome. Their goal is to reduce the number of days it takes for them to be fully engaged, motivated, and contributing team members.
Effective leaders also display certain qualities and actions that have a strong impact on their ultimate hiring and retention outcomes. When the best leaders hire, they:
- Are not afraid to hire people smarter than themselves
- Hire to complement their own skill gaps
- Select recruits with similar values and the right mindset
- Understand that energy and drive are equally as important as past successes
- Are empathetic and can sense and tap into the emotions of others
- Value transferable skills
- Hire and then nurture, develop, and empower continuously
These leadership qualities and hiring steps frame the backdrop of the hiring process. Exceptional leaders not only understand what they themselves personally need to succeed, but also what attributes and skills are required in the people they recruit. Their goal is to attract and hire brand ambassadors who are committed to their personal, as well as organisational growth.