Talent Management is essential to success. Talent management is a set of integrated organizational workforce processes. They are designed to attract, develop, motivate and keep productive, engaged employees, and removing those who do not fit. Strategic talent analytics is your key to building a high-performance workforce— essential in today’s world. Everyone needs to take responsibility for the success of the organization, not only his or her jobs or areas. Our people analytics along with our governance analytics makes sure that it happens.
I have written about getting the best people into the most critical roles. It does not happen by chance. It requires you to take a disciplined, evidence-based look at where the organization creates value and how its top talent contributes. You need organizational alignment, outcome-based job descriptions and a best-fit staffing process to accomplish this vital task.
What Does Hiring for a Cultural Fit Look Like?
The top mistakes leaders make in staffing is that their people hire too quickly, fail to invest in employee development, and fire too slowly. It starts with pace. The most common piece of advice I have given people is, “hire slowly, invest in development, and fire quickly.”
They will delay hiring a new person until it is necessary to hire someone and fill the position. They will hire someone based on a friend’s quick recommendation, or a resume that looks good on paper.
I look for two things when I hire a new employee: ambition and humility. Without a proven track record of initiative and ambition, it’s likely the person becomes a drain rather than a contributor to the company — even the really smart, talented ones.”— Justin McLeod, Founder and CEO of Hinge
It is All About the Right Fit
Our analytics show that employees who meet or exceed expectations have these five core behavioural competencies:
- Maintains Accountability
- Strives for Excellence
- Manages Stress
- Demonstrates Character
- Connects with Customer
These competencies along with being likable are essential to employee career success. How to be likable – 13 Behaviors Likable People Engage In provides insights into becoming more likable.
Our leadership ladder sets out the behavioural competencies required at each level of leadership. I encourage you to have a robust succession planning process. It lets employees know where they stand. It facilitates creating effective employee development plans.
Every Job Requires A Different Talent Stack
Every individual has a unique talent stack. Both employers and employees need to know the natural behavioural strengths in their talent stack. They also need to know the competencies that are required to be a success in their role. This provides the development areas for the given job and their strengths that will make them stand out in the position. We offer both.
Hire Around Your Company’s Culture
You should hire to fit your company’s culture. Make sure you take more time than necessary to make the decision. Go slowly and ensure there is a good fit.
Even a donkey can look like a thoroughbred for two interviews.” — Dave Ramsey, Ramsey Solutions
The average candidate at Ramsey Solutions goes through fourteen to sixteen interviews. Think about the time and the cost of the salaries involved in that many discussions. The hiring costs are astronomical. However, the company continues to win Best Places to Work awards. It keeps growing, and the staff turnover is extremely low.
Having candidates and the company spend time together, people start to show you who they are, and the company also shows its true self to the interviewee after more interviews.
We shorten this cycle through our people analytics. People’s behaviours are who they are. They may be able to manage the challenges. However, misalignment creates stress. This will reveal itself over time.
Document What You Stand For
Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.”— David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot
You know the type of team you wish to build. Document it. Educate everyone. Share it with candidates. Challenge them to determine if the culture you want aligns with the culture prospective candidates wish to work. Ensure your culture is a living, breathing part of how the business is managed. Use the language in your meetings. Bring it to life every day. Test new employees. Do not let the document gather dust. It is a shield from danger, wield it. Many companies have done this right — consider following their lead.
This needs to be part of your onboarding plan.
Protect Your Culture
Once you have hired someone, you must protect your culture. This means completing the difficult task of firing someone who is not a good fit for the culture. They are usually the person who is doing just enough to get their work done, but something’s still off. That is often a cultural problem. Firing is never natural, and it should not get more comfortable.
We are human, and these people problems are uncomfortable. However, your culture is that important, and someone who is not a culture fit will drag your company down. Firing them quickly (after you have put them on notice and given them some time to improve) is, in the long run, the kindest thing for them and the best thing for you. Ensure you are compassionate.
What Does Not Matter?
The level of an employee does not matter. The size of the company does not matter either. If you are serious about culture, you protect it at all costs.
Your business and your life will change when you really, really get it that some people are not going to change, no matter what you do, and that still others have a vested interest in being disruptive.” Henry Cloud, Necessary Endings
When toxicity strikes, you need to be ready to have the hard conversations about ending things with an employee to protect your culture.
Dr. Cloud uses the word toxic. It is a strong word. However, when someone is not aligned with the culture, that person is an intruder to the company. If someone does not fit and you are working hard to protect your culture, that person is eroding the positive culture you are trying to create. When you try to be helpful to people by keeping them around, whether it is because you like them or because their numbers are so high, the negativity only spreads through your company. It will kill your culture. Your act of “kindness” is not fair to the company or the culture. It is also not appropriate to the individual who needs to be let go.
When you are an entrepreneur, you go fast. You are always looking ahead to the next new thing. If you are recruiting and working in sales, you are going to want to talk a person into coming to join your team. Slow down and take your time. Make sure the person you are looking at is the person you are going to get. Strive to hire the right person the first time, every time. This might mean you have to do many interviews and use analytics before you decide.
When I first faced having to fire someone, I asked my boss when a person knows that it is the right time to do it. He told me the first time a person thinks about it is the right time, as no one likes firing people.
Is It Worth It?
Ask yourself the question next - do you like to fire people? No one does—at least no reasonable person. You can avoid firing people by doing a better job of hiring. Take your time and hire slowly.
Leadership is absolutely about inspiring action, but it is also about guarding against misaction.” — Simon Sinek
Put People First
We have it backwards — we build our lives around our jobs instead of the other way around. This leads to stress and unhappiness. In the top three most stressful events, under severe illness and death of a loved one, was workplace stress. Almost half of all workers had experienced a great deal of stress in the past year.
The real competitive advantage in any business is one word only, which is “people”.”— Kamil Toume
Treat people like human beings, not like cogs in a machine. See the individual first and their role second. Relate to employees on a more human level.
When employees feel cared about as people, they do their best work. They also stay longer, work harder, and produce more, which makes caring a fantastic rate of return. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Relating to others on a human level baked into company culture trickles down into customer service. You can not create a company without great people. You create a good company culture by recognizing the humanity in your employees.
Recognition and appreciation are integral components of an effective strategic reward system. These two elements rarely receive the attention they deserve. I find this to be amazing as these elements are low-cost and provide a high-return. Your employees like to know whether they are doing good, bad, or average. It is crucial that you tell them.
You do not need an unlimited budget or fancy perks to create an excellent culture with the ability to scale with your company. You need to be authentic, communicate your vision, and care about your workforce.