Too many leaders overlook hiring as just another responsibility, and good managers know how to identify talent and plug a hole. But great leaders understand that the right hire will elevate everyone on the team and learn how to recruit team members that change the game.
Great leaders see hiring as a strategic priority. Unfilled positions sabotage a team in more ways than one. Not only does the team suffer the productivity loss of the individual, they typically end up overworking the high performers who pick up the slack and sabotage the health of the team. Great leaders prioritize hiring and methodically work to find a resolution and fill the position.
They view team-building as a daunting responsibility. If an empty position hurts the team, a bad hire has the potential to mortally wound it. Great leaders take their responsibility seriously and are deliberate about defining the role. They review their team’s strengths and weaknesses and write robust job descriptions that spell out the skills and characteristics required to complement the team.
They treat interviewing like an art-form. Great talent doesn’t come with a label that says “I’m the one”. Great leaders approach each conversation with purpose and design the process to reveal valuable insights that most managers would never uncover. Their process allows them to identify not only outstanding talent, but exceptional cultural fits that possess the ideal pairing of passion and work ethic. Great leaders hone their craft through experimenting with different techniques, collaborating with teammates and evaluating their hiring performance.
They see recruiting as a sales job. Great talent doesn’t need your job. The A-players are in high demand, and great leaders fully understand this, but refuse to settle for anything but the best recruits. Great leaders pursue their top candidates by the going the extra mile to get them excited about joining the team and don’t take no for an answer. They also find ways to demonstrate why this is a win-win to get their top candidate on board.
The next time you have an empty position, try approaching the hiring process as a strategic priority.
Be deliberate about defining your role and design an interview process that uncovers valuable insights. If you do, you’ll know without a shadow of doubt when you’ve found the right candidate. And when you do, don’t let them get away.