Have you been affected by the talent gap? Good people are hard to find & ever increasingly so. Plus the hiring process is time consuming, difficult & comes with big stakes.
- What do you look for?
- What has to come part & parcel with the staff?
- What can be taught?
- What’s important & what’s a deal breaker?
- How do you know the person is who she says she is?
- How do you find them?
It’s easy, especially when you’re under pressure, to fall into the similarities trap, which is looking for qualities that are the same as you & your existing team. This is an easy, convenient approach BUT it comes with the very real danger of creating an echo chamber. (I’m trying but failing to resist making the pun; birds of a feather …).
So you try to seek out differences, but too many of those & you may end up with folks who don’t share you &/or your organizational values. And believe you me, changing values is the hardest kind of change to try & effect.
It’s enough to give you an epic sized brain freeze (without the benefit of having eaten icy cold ice cream).
So how do you find the talent you need? Your hidden sweet spot may just be right under your nose.
We’re all working at a faster pace. Leisurely lunches & a workday that fits between 9 & 5 have gone the way of those 1980’s leg warmers. We are even walking faster & speaking faster.
So fitting in time to hire someone in this frenetic pace is hard, hard, hard. It’s also usually reactive – we typically take too long until we start the process & then we’re facing a crisis because the person should have been hired yesterday or even worse yester-year. This fits into Stephen Covey’s (sublime) time analysis grid in the important & urgent quadrant (things that are critical & need to get done ASAP).
So back to that nose of yours. Your answer could just be hiding right under your sniffer.
Instead of a crisis fuelled, harried, reactive process, take a step back & get to know the strengths-of-the-team-right-under-your-nose.
This turns you into a wizard of sorts – you’re being proactive & in the sweet zone of Stephen Covey’s important but not urgent quadrant, which give you time and space to breathe.
Urgent & important vs. not urgent & important.
It’s the difference between fighting fires (urgent & important) & checking your smoke alarm batteries so the fires don’t happen in the first place (not urgent & important).
If you find yourself fighting fires in the hiring process help is at hand.
When you shift from urgent & important to not urgent & important, you’ll focus on things like learning, organizational culture & team building.
When was the last time you learned something?
If dusty cobwebs are getting in the way of remembering when you last learned something you may have an issue. Spend some gray matter time focusing on developing a learning culture where people are eager to learn, share their learning & apply it.
Tip: this has the added benefit of increasing innovation & creativity because folks learn to try things & be less allergic to rigidity & failure.
Tip: you just may be able to train someone to do the things that you were thinking you’d need to hire for.
When was the last time you did some team building?
And I don’t mean the stodgy golf games where only about a third of the group is really having fun (that is NOT team building). When was the last time you spent time in the important / not urgent zone & got to know folks who are in your space?
Tip: Don’t over complicate it – just make sure whatever you’re calling teambuilding is something everyone on the team is into. If you leave a subgroup out it’s.not.teambuilding.
Tip: team building helps you to get to know your team so you could just find a hidden gem under your nose & not have to hire. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve done team buildings where participants, when they find out something new about a colleague, say with their eyebrows arching heavenward ‘I had no idea’ or ‘I didn’t know that about you’ or ‘you’ve got to be kidding me, really?’
What’s your organizational culture like?
Think of someone’s first day on the job – what would they see, how would they feel, what would they notice & who would notice them?
By the way, if you’re a solopreneur you can still do this activity. Think of your work with other consultants, clients etc. How would they describe your culture?
Tip: Culture shows up everywhere; from your email signature to how you answer the phone & how you handle big ol’ gaffes.
Tip: if you focus on learning & team building your organizational culture will almost certainly improve & your need to hire can decrease because folks are happier & more productive.
If you focus on these three things from time to time (I know I know, you’re super busy but remember this is like checking your smoke alarm batteries so you don’t end up fighting fires): learning, team building & organizational culture, I can guarantee (like 99.87%) that you’ll find hidden gems right under your nose.
Sound interesting? Register for my September 12th Working Better Together online course , where we’ll dive into issues like these & you’ll come up with not only air but easy to apply tips & techniques to easily keep you afloat. You’ll fan the flames of great teamwork, organizational culture & learning without getting burned.