Corporate Executive Coaching: Hiring the Right Talent

Corporate Executive Coaching: Hiring the Right Talent November 22, 2013

Corporate Executive Coaching Services

Key Associates, Inc. is committed to helping leaders and their organizations grow.  Our corporate executive coaching services support individual leaders as well as teams and organizations in reaching their full potential through a customized process of Right Focus, Right People and Right Execution.

We build confidence through a systematic approach that lays out a plan, tracks milestones and brings results. Today we’ll discuss how to improve and enhance the selection and hiring practices by outlining some common mistakes to avoid when interviewing and hiring. .

The Right People

Having the right people on your team can spell the difference between success and failure. When it comes to building a team, finding and hiring the right people is one of the toughest challenges leaders face.

Often, leaders build their organizational team one at a time as the company grows and can afford (and attract) better talent. However, the stakes are actually a lot higher earlier in the company’s growth. Hiring the wrong person can very well put you out of business.

If you want the right people, you must have at the core of your approach the following guiding principle: past behavior speaks volumes about future behavior. Yes, people can change; however, change rarely occurs unless some major crisis or demand for change comes about due to external circumstances, such as being fired, a major illness or accident. That’s why you must find a way to ferret out information about the candidates’ past successes and failures.  Then you must judge how these past events and behaviors may influence success in the opportunity at hand.

Gathering focused information to paint a realistic picture of the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses is essential. Corroborating your findings through interviews with references and other assessments you might use will greatly improve your odds that the chosen candidate will be a right fit for your team.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes people make when interviewing and hiring.

  • Hastiness or operating from a sense of urgency that overrides good decision making. Hiring someone too quickly to fill a gap that suddenly got bigger with business growth is a frequently mentioned reason why organizations hire the wrong person. Hiring someone in haste winds up making more work for everyone, not to mention the backlash that results from picking someone who fails in a leadership role.
  • Replicating ourselves. Sometimes people want to find someone that reminds them of themselves. Picking “another you” is a common strategy to find someone you think you can count on.  Organizations need diversity to inspire creativity and innovative thinking. Besides, it’s hard to judge accurately whether or not the initial traits you see in a candidate really are similar to yours or to those of someone you admire.
  • Going mostly by “gut feelings.” Not collecting the right information or enough information to know if the candidate really has the competencies and motivation essential to the job is a common error. Be clear on the competencies and expectations of the position in question and investigate how the candidates you meet fit or don’t.
  • Not assessing the right culture fit. One of the mistakes that many of our small to midsize clients have made is hiring someone from a big public company who is used to having lots of resources available, only to find that the new hire can’t get used to the more entrepreneurial environment where s/he is expected to be proactive, resources are less plentiful, and there is less structure in place to guide actions.
  • Not involving enough people in the interviewing process or not training them to go deeper and broader in the interview.  So often, people don’t include others who could add value to the interview process.  Using multiple interviewers allows you to get perspectives that balance that of the hiring manager.

 Using a consistent and structured approach to interviewing that focuses on behaviors will ensure you avoid these errors and enhance your ability to select the right people for your organization.

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