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The Golden Employee Part I: Three steps to hiring the RIGHT talent

A helpful philosophy One of the philosophies underlying my approach to both coaching and consulting is this: There is key learning to be found in first scrutinizing the very situation we've been ...

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A helpful philosophy

One of the philosophies underlying my approach to both coaching and consulting is this:

There is key learning to be found in first scrutinizing the very situation we've been hoping to change, before taking any steps to change it.

Although your immediate response may be to quickly nod and agree, I encourage you to pause and think about it for a minute. How often does your organization take time to fully understand why a current program, process or initiative may not be working? When outcomes are somewhat less than expected, what tends to be the primary focus--is it to immediately shift to a new strategy? To initiate a demoralizing game of pin the tail on the donkey (e.g. place blame on a key individual, group, or condition beyond one's control)? Or, perhaps to turn a blind eye?

Are you hiring the right employees for your organization?

Many organizations struggle to find the right employees--those who will not only fit, but thrive within the current organizational culture; those who will be highly productive in their role; and, those who will be motivated to continually grow and develop into even better contributors.

High turnover and low retention rates often indicate that an organization may not be as successful in hiring the right staff as it should be. But often, the organizational response to this awareness aligns with one or more of the three responses highlighted above:

*A new strategy--The organization will bring in a consultant with an off-the-shelf training program to develop key skills of recruiters and hiring managers.
*Pin the tail on the donkey--The organization will blame the market environment, the recruiting director, or the entire recruiting team.
*A blind eye--The organization will do nothing.

Inevitably, although not surprisingly, these approaches serve only to re-create, or maintain the undesirable situation.

Hiring the right talent is as easy as one, two, three

1. Scrutinize what is:

Hiring the right talent begins with taking a closer look at the current situation before taking any action. Who are you attracting? What does your exit interview data tell you about staff are leaving? Who


working out in the organization, and what are the common characteristics?

2. Define the critical characteristics along three dimensions for each role you wish to fill:

For each role, define the success characteristics for Fit, Ability and Motivation.


=Will he/she fit into the organizational culture?, e.g. Use behavioral questions to assess willingness to be a part of, and past performance as a member of a team.


=Can he/she do the job?, e.g. Review specific skill-sets, educational level, years experience and other hard qualifications for the job.


=How long does he/she individual need to stay at this level? Does he/she want to develop into the next level?, e.g. In some functions, it's important that the new employee be happy at the level at which they were hired for a number of years to ensure stability of the function; in other areas it may be important to have a continual supply of fresh talent, and so the practice may be to continually and quickly groom talent for the next level. Naturally then, the motivational fit between the candidate and organizational expectations/opportunities can impact the new hire's willingness to stay within the current job/organization.

3. Tailor and monitor new people practices to ensure they are achieving the desired results.

e.g. communicate uniform, clear and accurate expectations for the role, environment, etc. during the interview process (ensure all interviewers have this information available to them so that a consistent message is communicated); implement new hire surveys to proactively identify and address any problem areas; tailor exit surveys to assess against the problem areas identified in the assessment stage (step 1).

Armed with specific and clear information about

what is

, an organization can then take clear steps to address existing challenges and improve retention of new hires.

Part II of this 3-part series of "The Golden Employee" will focus on engaging staff and building loyalty.