Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Discovering Irreplaceable Excellence

Sir Ricahrd Branson wrote a LinkedIn editorial about the traits he identifies in preferred job candidates. He noted the importance of personality fit more than resume bullets. We all know that a candidate can customize their resume to fit a job description and speak to said points in an array of interviews. The sad thing is that our hiring processes have become so predictable that the aforementioned process usually lands someone in a job they may not be qualified to fill. Much like the process of memorizing and passing a test, the hiring process is usually a search for "the safe choice". What we fail to recognize is that the job's incumbent left because safe practices were stifling innovation.....and then someone with a fresh perspective came along.

I was further intrigued by Vijay Govindarajan & Jatin Desari's piece for the Harvard Business Review on employees they call "Intraprenuers". Intraprenuers are your employees with a unique ability to transform your organization. They are not rule breakers or loud mouths but those who seek to challenge the safe path....usually under their own breath. Their actions speak louder than their words and if your organization is reluctant to support forward thinking, they will leave.

We often fail to recognize true talent: in the hiring process, through our organizational development and in performance management. This is because the organizational function is fragmented in each of the aforementioned Human Resource areas. He/She doing the hiring may have different standards for excellence than he/she who designs performance initiatives. The managers who are in charge of developing talent may hold back in doing so to keep star performers on their team.

As we enter 2014, HR will begin a 5 years journey in Succession Planning like never before. Baby Boomers are retiring, the forgotten heroes of Generation X are progressing into senior management positions, and the millennials are looking for progressive organizational standards.

Are you ready?  

Who's Fault?
Why do we wait for exit interviews to find out why we cannot retain top talent? What do we do with the information gained from exit interviews? Why are managers not held accountable when extraordinary talent departs? What came first the system or the manager?

If our performance management curriculum is based in outdated performance standards we cannot blame the managers when people leave.

Value Driven Interviews
How can you stifle those who seek jobs by memorizing job descriptions? Ask them about your company's Core Values. You may by surprised how very candidates will take the time to review your organization's mission, vision and values before deciding if the company is a fit for them.

Core Values should be given metric qualification in both the hiring and performance management process.

Take Chances
Every great leader has stories of failure. They were passed up for promotions, fired, or a venture they started had gone under. Then someone took a chance on them....

We always remember those people who saw our true talent through our nervous eyes across the interview table. Our success is driven by those who have enough confidence in their leadership ability to develop our talent into skill. Are these leaders a dying breed? As the economy controls "head count", people become numbers, and managers hire based on the "safe bet". This is no different than buying based on price. As soon as a better deal comes along the candidate will chase it. They worked you over in the hiring process and they can do it anywhere else.

Finding an organizational fit is difficult! You have to take time to get to know people, to assess their contribution to your culture, to have the intuition to see their true talents and the ability to develop them into organizational advocates.

It seems we prefer to hire safe and re-hire often. A number filled cog with no recognition of the genuine human traits that would transform journeymen into loyal advocates.

We are human beings not FTE's!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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