(This blog post originally posted on Hampton and Associates)
There is a generally accepted way to post jobs, let established processes filter and finally choose a candidate based on set criteria. But what if the method reflected steps allowing applicants with desirable traits to become known? Or if standard procedures were all thrown out the window?
In a world where Millennials find no satisfying work but are fully integrating current social technologies, and where Boomers hold superior earning potential and may understand – yet not fully embrace – the power of social technologies, a chasm exists. Getting bodies through the door isn’t a problem in the hiring process. What is? Finding THE ONE who fills the role in more ways than anyone could possibly imagine. This gulf is difficult, especially when addressing the desires of employees while also striving to minimize turnover; within an existing process, these two goals may not align well, if at all.
As a hiring manager, your creativity is where you add value to the company. Having a strong network of people whom you support (and vice versa) helps achieve anticipated levels of success and fulfillment. With a limited amount of time, your connections offer insights regarding people whom you will want to consider. In addition, your ability to stay in touch with individuals who are a fit – just not today – is relationship-building at its best in the new social business world.
Just like products or services, team-building methods must evolve. Stale, tired processes will not produce desired results. (As you read on, please be aware that I’m speaking from a non-traditional perspective.)
I posit that everyone wants to contribute to an idea they can stand behind, enjoy the work and add value – regardless of the position. If not, the person either doesn’t understand the mission or it doesn’t align with their passions outside of work. (Certainly, some individuals perform the minimum job requirements allowable…and either find excitement and possibility in those nominal tasks, or leave because too much dissonance exists with the passions they do hold dear.)
Say a person strives to lead; yet teams tend not to embody that ideal. Translation: the expectation that came across during the hiring process doesn’t match the actual work environment. How then can we shift practices when working on team hiring and building? Let’s look at three areas: culture, adding value and differentiation.
Whether said out loud or not, company cultures exist. Furthermore, actions define the culture, regardless if those activities align with what’s written down.
Every single person in an organization has a purpose. Who in your company incorporates the mission and vision into every single action? Regardless of role or level, what matters is discovering such individuals. Potential hires need to meet these people, to see active, cultivated responses to the embodiment of the culture.
Closing gaps between vision/mission and role/responsibility requires ongoing vigilance. Anyone can work, some have more skill than others, yet in certain situations there is an energy that fills people – of which they may be unaware. That’s where your skill and training kicks in, to go beyond hiring for a specific purpose. When you find what lights a person up and you know their attitude and perceptions align with the company’s vision and mission…that’s a candidate for the aforementioned “just not today” pool of people. By keeping them close and staying in touch, you also embody the essence of the company culture.
Skills, attitude and service converge into reaching and surpassing team objectives.
People possessing a good sense of self offer more than those who don’t. Nonetheless, team building actively works with both types of individuals. Successful, thriving teams contain a variety of experience, personality, soap boxes and drive to accomplish work. When working on a highly-valued project, each will offer to support others through their strengths and passions.
Consider the Montessori school classroom: multiage span of students; one lead teacher and two assistant teachers; group time; and personal work time. The works covers five areas to encourage introduction, deep learning and mastery of the ability to lead and serve others in the group. Most teams have similar elements, yet still achieve varying levels of success even in this egalitarian learning environment.
These common pitfalls fragment collaboration, inhibit teams and prevent culture embodiment:
- Team members wear too many hats. With only so much available personal work time, too many disparate responsibilities dilute the ability to do one thing well.
- Individuals lack cooperative space where every personality can shine. Most often the outgoing and strong styles lead the pack. The strengths of such individuals can miss insight and information; less up-front communication weakens team results.
- Meetings are considered a waste of time because teams don’t have specific roles (scribe, contributor, facilitator, accountability check, etc.).
- Rotating roles within a team, to support cross-training and natural appreciation of the talents required for each position.
- The team is disconnected from other parts of the company. The idea of transparency and having a social culture is more important inside the company than outside. Intranets don’t bring enough connection: how can social media create raving fans working for the company, as well as long-lasting relationships with customers outside the business?
You are hiring talent, and true talent brings an active network of people.
Irrespective of needed skills, one cannot rely on traditional hiring models as the way to find talent supporting sustainability and growth of companies. People whom you truly want to employ will understand the value of connection and strive to continuously learn and develop application of their craft. Such individuals have blogs; participate in public communities; and apply their ample knowledge about the industry in both creative work and conversations.
Hiring people who seek to continuously learn and practically apply their knowledge serves to foster ideas and excitement for projects. The fact that talented people choose to work at your company speaks volumes to their own lasting connections.
Building teams takes time, as does cultivating relationships with sought-after individuals while waiting for the right time to engage. All this coalesces with thoughtful processes for bringing on and integrating new hires into a culture that promotes (in statement, action and practice) reaching specific goals of a role, a team, a department and the company’s bottom line over time. Not to mention, people who love what they do tell others…and maybe those “others” are interested in aligning themselves with your company too!