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31 Days to Becoming a Better Leader


Day #26: Hiring Staff and Consultants Team and Leader

 Having the wrong person is worse than not having a person at all. – Hugh Ballou

It’s possible that I took the above quote from someone, but I can’t find a source for it. It’s so true, however. We hire someone for a position because we need someone by a certain time, and we hurry the process, making a quick judgment without the proper attention to the process and to the signals they send. We need to listen carefully with our eyes and ears to precisely worded questions.

The person working with us or our organization represents our organization. The brand image is at stake with each person representing us. We hire for skill and skip over checking to see if that person fits the culture we have so carefully nurtured. A proper search process takes time and energy and requires focus on the critical success factors.

Here are some basic concepts for finding the right person:

  • Clearly define what is expected – describe the basic duties.
  • Isolate the exact skills needed for performance and bullet point those skills.
  • Define the character and personal traits needed – leadership skills, communication skills, analytical skills, etc.
  • Develop an application form to include the information needed and ask for a résumé.
  • Read both the application and résumé, highlighting things that jump out in order to include those items in future questions for the applicant.
  • Do a search online to see what show up, especially in social media.
  • Schedule the first interview and include other decision makers, but not too many people.
  • Develop open-ended questions to reveal how the applicant sees reality, solves problems, thinks creatively, understands the nature of the work and culture, and how they approach and deal with conflict.
  • Define the scope of work, commitment hours and energy expected, and salary and benefits.
  • Determine if there’s a desire on both sides for moving forward with the process toward a decision for engagement.
  • Make the offer in writing.
  • Define a start date.
  • Sign an employment contract or other type of agreement.
  • Begin the assimilation process with a defined mentor or point person.

This is a very important process that many organizations have not mastered or even developed a sufficient level of competency in applying to the decision.

Next: Day #27 – Managing Time

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