Study Your Team Now to Make the Best Hire Later
Hiring the wrong person is a potentially crippling error but is avoided by being in tune with the strengths and culture of your organization. When it comes to the hiring process, it’s crucial to identify candidates who have the necessary skill set and whose values align with the culture of your organization.
Related: Hiring a Manager
A strengths assessment of your organization is important to ensure you’re tapping into the right people. Think of it as a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis of your people to identify key personality and behavioral traits and natural talents to help you best leverage that combination of talents.
Many business owners have limited understanding of their own strengths, and of others within their organization, what those skills mean and how to embrace them. A company I work with hired someone who seemed a perfect fit but wasn’t. He was a big picture guy in an urgent, efficient corporate culture. He was perceived as intelligent but impractical. A strengths assessment revealed the new hire was unlike nearly everyone else in the organization. He brought new strengths the company couldn't figure out how to leverage.
The company, a mid-sized organization, found a more suitable role for him in a different area but the outcome would have been different in a more entrepreneurial environment. The smaller the organization, the more critical it is to understand the internal workings of your company and clearly define the strengths you are seeking.
There are three key ingredients to hiring the right person.
1. Consider both current and anticipated needs. Does the candidate have the practical experience that you need to grow?
2. Having data from inside your organization will help you better leverage your team’s talents and ensure that you remain objective throughout the hiring process. Does the candidate have the specific strengths that you need for this particular position?
3. Use the interview process to vet top candidates with a consistent set of questions for each interview. Involve your staff and take their feedback into consideration. Will the candidate fit the culture of the organization, play well with others and share the same values and goals? Consider asking your top candidates to come in for a day to get a sense for how your team will work together.
Hiring is among the biggest challenges and most rewarding opportunities facing a company. Executing it well the first time avoids costly, time-consuming repercussions and has a positive impact on your existing team.
Mary Kaiser is the founder of Start with Strengths, a professional consulting and coaching firm. As a corporate coach, Mary has worked across all levels of executive leadership with companies of all sizes. Her experience includes more than 25 years of growing leaders, developing teams and improving corporate cultures of businesses across the country.