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Strategies to ensure you make the right hire

Monday, November 4, 2019 - 08:00
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As I write this piece, I acknowledge that experience can been a hard schoolmaster at times…put more simply this is not a pure science with absolute guarantees, but there are principles to follow that will provide success more times than not. For many years, my hiring process boiled down to who interviewed the best and produced the best resume. Using that method, I have made some unfortunate hiring decisions that were not good for the organization or the person I hired. There are several insights I’ve learned I want to share with you today. 

Good cultural fit

First, when evaluating who to hire, it is essential to look for those who will fit into your culture. Culture includes areas such as sharing the same values and similar behavior systems.  Our organization has a desire to care for people and deliver excellence. Other values are important to us, but every single one falls under these two categories – caring and excellence.  We want to hire team members who care about people and strive for excellence in everything they do. The pace of your environment is another factor to consider before bringing someone on board. We operate in a fast-paced culture. Therefore, if we are faced with a candidate who is talented but would not perform well in a fast-paced environment, they would not be a good fit for us. Do you have a collaborative teamwork environment, or is your culture more individual-based and competitive? A team member who wants to work alone most of the time, will not thrive in a collaborative teamwork environment. That is important to define before starting your search to add members to your team.  The list goes on. It is essential to know how to identify your culture and use that as a starting point to determine fit.  

Create scorecards

In the book Who: The A Method For Hiring, Geoff Smart and Randy Street introduced me to the concept of creating a scorecard for each position before starting the interview process. The scorecard is more than a job description (which is what I used to take into interviews with me, to go point by point what we expected). Instead, Smart and Street describe the scorecard as a document that outlines the outcomes and competencies that we desire from the position. It is a brilliant concept. How many times are people on our teams “busy” but not busy with the right things to produce the outcomes we desire? That leads to the question of how do we create scorecards for every position on our team? First, we need to define what must be accomplished in each role. Subsequently, outline what it looks like to be successful in that position with clearly defined outcomes. For example, let’s take a Customer Service Representative (CSR) position. 

Why does the CSR position exist? 

This position exists to create an exceptional experience for customers through effective communication, close attention to detail, and excellent follow through. That is what we want this position to accomplish. Next, we will need to define what outcomes we expect for this position.  It helps us eliminate the mindset of “doing” versus “achieving." We could "do" all day, but not be meeting our goals. Therefore, for this example, the outcomes desired for a Customer Service role could include:

Some potential CSR position Outcomes

  • Maintain a 98-100% ranking in Kept Informed and Service scores through CSI reports
  • Ensure Accounts Receivables collected within 45 days
  • Have all estimates imported or keyed in the system before the Repair Started phase
  • Confirm all final paperwork documented before scheduling Delivery Appointments with customers. 

It is important to have all of this clearly defined, so you make hiring decisions that align with your culture and goals. It also sets people up for success if we explain what they must accomplish in a specific role. (Again our focus is on “accomplish”; not “do”). When creating these scorecards, make it a team effort and include your top performers from these roles to ensure alignment in all areas. 

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