Sunday, February 25, 2007

The secret sauce of building your team - part 1

While I normally try to keep these posts short, I am moving into a topic that will take a bit longer to cover. I promise it will be worth it.

Having a successful team starts with finding the right people. The problem is that most organizations don’t get this process right – and they pay dearly in terms of turnover and the lost productivity that comes from this sort of misguided “ready, FIRE, aim” approach. This is a big dilemma, and we are going to solve it - Guerilla-style

Step 1 - Gather your Intel:

Intelligence gathering is what keeps the guerilla warrior alive. If you are going to get invest the time, energy and money to recruit someone, you better have your facts straight! Your intel sources include your boss, your customers, your team, your finance person and of course, your HR person. Before you even think about kicking off a recruitment effort, you need to ask and answer some questions:

a. Do you really need to fill this role? I know this sounds like blasphemy – of course you need to fill this role – your team is too short staffed to get it all done – but do you really need this role, right now? Is this an opportunity to re-shuffle the deck – maybe replace the role with something more in tune with your current and future needs? Perhaps to bring in new talent of a different stripe to help fill your talent bench? This is actually a whole topic in itself for another day….

b. EXACTLY what are you looking for? Define exactly what your ideal candidate will be able to do for the team…. Focus on the results first, not on the “requirements” … the results wild define the requirements for you.

c. Once you know exactly what you need from this role, consider if there is anyone inside the organization who can achieve the results you need. Notice that I’m not asking if there is anyone who could “do the job”…. Don’t let people divert you from the focus is on results.

d. Now that we know what the role is supposed to achieve, we can move on to figuring out what the right candidate will look like - and we’ll pick that up in our next post!!

NEXT TIME - The laser focus on your target.


Wally Bock said...

This is good stuff, especially the part about asking if you need to fill the spot. Alas, it assumes that people are willing to do the serious work that goes into good hiring. My experience is that most are not, despite evidence from places like Southwest Airlines and Norstrom that the work pays off.

Patrick Williams said...

Thanks Wally - sometimes I think that we're all just too lazy. I really profess that when it comes to recruiting, you are best to measure twice and cut once!