If you own, lead or manage a successful business operation, you’ve probably come to realize that your most valuable asset is the people you hire. These are the people you will interact with on a daily basis. You have spent time, money and energy to ensure that they have the qualities you require. If your business is struggling, accept the concept that your best asset should be – the people. Invest the time to identify their qualities, begin to “refresh” your workforce, and watch your fortunes dramatically improve!
I learned this lesson early in my career from an executive who clearly defined candidate requirements and refused to accept mediocrity in the hiring process. He was an ex-IBMer who walked, talked and lived with passion. This man never answered the question, “How’s business?” with anything other than retort, “Absolutely fantastic!” When it came to hiring, he’d tell me “JR, the people you hire better look good and smell good.” Because I had transferred to his division at a young age, I took this statement literally. Only later did I learn that it was his code for demanding that candidates be well qualified, extensively vetted, and thoroughly educated on the position’s requirements and objectives. He was passionate and confident that hiring the right people would insure his organization’s success.
No matter what product service you provide – whether you run a sole proprietorship, a division, or a major international corporation – the production, growth, and innovation in your business are only as good as the individual or team performing the work. Good partners, employees, workers, vendors, and clients make the difference.
While a good or “hot” product or services can draw a lot of attention, it can never truly sell itself. Orders must be taken, deliveries must be made, and services must be provided. Technological advances in sales, delivery, billing, and service can help, but only the right staff will drive an organization to success.
The value of the “look good, smell good” message didn’t truly sink in until I began working with client companies to recruit key managerial and executive staff. I learned that the clients with the highest, best-defined standards for the candidates they accepted were the ones who succeeded. Clients who haphazardly identified requirements, muddled through the interview process, or failed to set specific well-defined selection criteria were the ones who failed. And they seemed to fail at every level. The failure almost always went well beyond their hiring practices and rolled over into their personal careers, often infecting the whole organization.
Once I accepted this lesson and began to review my client’s hiring practices, it became easy to quickly identify potential clients who would succeed in their hiring process. For client companies that had done their preliminary work by studying, investigating and thoroughly understanding their hiring standards, the recruitment process accelerated quickly and had positive results. Hiring success is more likely if a client can provide a candidate with more than just a job description. The client should be able to answer questions about what the candidate should offer in the way of experience, education, personality, ethics, drive, and performance.
As the success of my organization has grown, we now find ourselves in a position where we can zero in on those clients who are as passionate as we are about their recruiting and staffing process. By extending our internal passion, we are able to work with clients who share our vision. Our most successful clients and the clients that reap the most benefit from their search process are the ones who take the process seriously, layout hiring parameters, review resumes in a timely fashion and provide professional and candid feedback. These clients then work diligently with us to facilitate their search, selection and hiring process.
If you accept what I know to be true, ask yourself what you are doing to identify, recruit and employ the top notch people. Or to select those hires who will make your life easier, your company more successful, and help create an overall improvement in the industry.
What have you done to qualify the personalities, experiences, career studies, and other meaningful factors that should be part of your hiring mandates?
As a start, you need to develop answers to these three basic questions:
- What technical abilities, education background, and work experience must the candidate have?
- What personality traits are important for the candidate to have in order to succeed?
- What work-related issues must the candidate be able to deal with? These could be the work environment, the level of co-worker or managerial interaction, or the specifics or performance expectations.
Most companies limit their investigation to the first question, which is important but does little to determine the probability of the candidate’s success. The further you can go into outlining personality traits and the ability to overcome work-related issues, the higher the probability of recruiting the best fit, long-term candidates and employees.
At SCR , we can help you find the experienced energy sector talent you need. We supply talent throughout the world, and we can find you the people you need for your organization or your next project. Contact us today!
Written by: Jerry Robinson, General Manager, SCR