Hiring Future LeadersPosted: November 30, 2013
Everyone you interview has the potential to be a future leader. The problem is we often want to hire people who are the leaders today. Not only that, we want them to have 3 PhDs and 15 years of experience in each field. I just read a wonderful article from Liz Ryan, the founder of Human Workplace. She discusses how so many HR departments are posting job ads for people that simply don’t exist or, if they did, they certainly wouldn’t work for the salary being offered.
When I hire, I look for those future leaders, the people I know will be great with some coaching. I search for passion, integrity, and drive to improve. Training is so easy and 90% of any job is on the job training regardless of how much relevant experience the person has. Your systems, culture, and team dynamics are always going to be different from what they were doing before. In short, a person’s potential is often far more valuable than their actual experience and qualifications.
The plaintiff if Liz’s article above illustrates another common situation, especially here in China. Management is way behind on deadlines they shouldn’t have set in the first place because they don’t actually have the staff to deliver. Then they decide they need some mythical wizard that magically takes over a role and does the best job ever to deliver on time and to specs. Of course, this person can’t be found (and even if they could, they certainly have a job already and wouldn’t be sending in applications to web ads) and then, instead of reexamining their assumptions about deadlines, capabilities, and hiring requirements, they blame the poor recruitment manager for not finding the right people. I’ve seen this more times than I can count.
Real leaders set realistic goals for their teams and make sure they have the staff and resources available before promising the moon. They also know they will need to hire good people and develop them, not expect to be able to find some wizard to clean up the mess they’ve put themselves in.
Look for those people who would be a great fit for your team. Give them your time and your attention . Pretty soon, you’ll find you built a team of incredible people, people who are loyal to you for the help you’ve given them.