Hiring the Right Talent

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs

Businesses run primarily for customers but they are run ‘by’ the employees. The success of a business therefore depends on how smart they have been in hiring the right talent for their company. The ability to provide excellent levels of customer service, create new offerings, better the current brands, manage omni-channel communication and other such aspects are directly proportional to the kind of employees a company has. It is crucial therefore that hiring the right talent, providing this talent with training and learning opportunities and having clear paths for their growth are meticulously woven strategies into the culture of the organization. The first step however, is hiring the right talent since without the ‘right’ people working with and for the organization, it would be impossible to expect growth, stability, profits and market leadership. No company can expect to move ahead if it does not have a growth and change mind-set and this mind-set essentially belongs to the people working in it – leaders included. We have discussed earlier, that you may be able to hire people by paying them salaries above what they currently earn, but you cannot keep them for long just on this basis. If you have been successful in hiring the right talent they would be driven by what the company stands for – the culture, vision, mission and values.

Hiring the right talent is a business process and must be treated with the same care and detail. There can be no hiring without first putting together a list of positions and their job descriptions and this must happen keeping the culture of the company and the needs of its customers in focus. Only post deciding as to the number of job positions required and what each of them would be required to do, should the interviewing and recruitment process begin. The truth that many companies are realizing is that hiring the right talent is about looking for people that have the right attitude, passion, commitment and drive – skills and jobs are more easily taught. The process of hiring the right talent is an extremely crucial one and only those completely equipped to manage the process and have an eye to spot the best talent must be part of this process. It would be surprising but it is worth mentioning that some employees, not part of the hiring team, would have a better sense of spotting the right talent and it would be prudent to include them in the hiring process. A friend is an administrative in-charge but has a very keen eye and is able to judge whether someone will fit the organization or not. Her ‘predictions’ about any new hire have always been proved right and so her company has included her in the hiring process – especially when a large number of people need to be recruited. Not only is she great at her own work, but this added ability has brought her a lot of respect and the company has often offered her a senior position in the recruitment team.

Hiring the right talent, as a process can and should be a teaching experience for those involved in recruiting since there are so many new types of learning – patience, listening skills, intuitiveness and other such skills. Companies know that without the right people it would be tough to survive in a competitive market and customers would just as easily seek the services of a company that will live up to their expectations. It is a lot simpler to deal with and manage people with no preconceived notions, the right attitude and a willingness to learn rather than deal with people who already believe that they ‘know everything’. Hiring the right talent is about bringing in people with a mind-set to learn and contribute and a desire to fit in to the culture of the company. There are countless instances where an extremely proficient person has failed within one company and performed exceedingly well in another simply due to the culture fit. A person’s innate characteristics are less easy to mould as compared to the skills and talents – therefore if you hire the ‘incorrect characteristics’, even the most skilled person can fail and the entire process of hiring would prove to be a wasted one.

For long term success and growth, a company needs to remain stable and sustainable. It should be able to consistently develop and produce ‘innovation’ in order to gain and retain their market leadership and in doing so it is their employees who would be the contributors. Achieving business success then is about hiring the right talent, retaining it and providing them chances to grow with the organization and any company that can provide a great culture and happy working environment will be sure to succeed each time in hiring the right talent. So it works both ways – good employee policies will encourage better people to join and these ‘better people’ will ensure that the work environment is happy and congenial to progress.

Hiring the right talent is also a highly effective way to save costs for the company. To start with naturally motivated and intelligent people lead a lot less supervision, which allows their leaders and managers to focus their attention on more important business strategies. These highly motivated people are also able to produce high quality work consistently without much effort, thereby raising the standards of everything that goes out of the company – customer service, products, services and even communication. Since fewer such employees are able to produce more, the need to have a huge workforce is reduced and therefore the company saves money and effort on hiring and managing too many employees. The other benefit of hiring the right talent is that customers are able to perceive – a rise in service quality, better and more innovative offerings, prompt and well-articulated communication and other positive aspects that can be directly related to a highly motivated workforce.

As mentioned earlier, it is easier to teach a newly recruited employee a job and the kind of knowledge required to sustain them. However, it is the ‘soft skills’ that are tricky because these skills are what form the inherent characteristics of people and unless these skills are already present in a person, it would be tough to get even the most basic tasks accomplished. Hiring the right talent is about matching the traits of your organization with those of the people you seek to hire – a large company would need someone who can work well with teams, is able to contribute, hold their own even in stressful situations and other such traits. A smaller company or a start up on the other hand need self-driven people who can work independently and don’t need hand holding or supervision. The people in these small set-ups must be inherently creative, aggressive and be completely committed to the long term vision of the company – it is easy to see how hiring the right talent or not can be the difference between success and failure of a company.

We all know how the business scenario and the technological front has changed. What was relevant yesterday has suddenly become obsolete now and unless companies and people are changing accordingly, the results of not doing so could be disastrous. Hiring the right talent therefore also translates to recruiting those individuals who understand the need to change and are always ready to learn a new skill and upgrade their existing ones in an attempt to keep up with the changing face of business and customers. Such people are motivated, tenacious and resilient and determined to succeed and also work hard enough to enable the company’s success and most importantly are not risk and change averse.

Having listed out what hiring the right talent is all about, there are times when despite the best efforts, your company does make an incorrect hire. The important thing is to accept that an error has happened and then either correct it by working with the employee on improving or letting the person leave. It is important to efficiently manage this portion of the hiring process too so as to sustain the company’s culture and values. With so many challenges that face a business, no company can afford any more stumbling blocks. Hiring the right talent is certainly no cakewalk – it requires commitment, patience, passion and an intuitive and analytical mind-set. However, when a company is able to find the right talent everything falls in place – happy workplace, motivated workforce, satisfied and loyal customers, huge profits and long term growth and success.

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