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Hiring your next rockstar employee

posted 2017-07-18 by Donna

The search for employees who are a great fit for your company can be exhausting. Sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever find the right person, or you find someone who isn’t quite right, although you can’t quite put your finger on why and they look great on paper so you hire them. Your sixth sense proves to be accurate later when the person requires a disproportionate amount of management time and resources, or you invest heavily in them to make things work better only to have them quit six months later. The hiring process also takes you away from what you want to, and need to, focus on.

Suppose you’ve taken the time to write a clear and compelling job posting that should attract top talent. You have honed your interview process to select for people with the right set of skills, knowledge and experience to do the work well. Yet still something isn’t working, the last couple of hires don’t seem to be a good fit. Is there something else you could be doing?

Let me ask this: are you really clear about your company identity: what it stands for, what its values are, what it it is up to in the world? Because if you haven’t got that clearly articulated, then selecting employees who by default are aligned with your values is a bit of a shot in the dark.

Your interview questions might be designed to assess some values, but unless you have already done the work it’s likely an indirect and incomplete overlap. A far better approach is to have your company vision, mission and values clearly articulated before you hire, and then your assessment of your applicants can be much easier.

Suppose one of your core company values is innovation. Your company needs employees who frequently look at things a little differently, who challenge the status quo, who generate new ideas on bar napkins every time there’s a social get together. They just can’t help themselves. How well would it work if you hire someone who has the right set of experience, skills and knowledge for the job, but has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future every time a new process or approach is introduced?

A great proportion of your time at work is spent in the day to day interactions, meetings, discussions and decisions. The energy expended cajoling or supervising employees who are not a good fit with your values could be better spent elsewhere. It’s well worth carving out the time to be clear on what your company is about, and then find the people who are naturally aligned.

Photo by Shwetha Shankar on Unsplash